Skip to main content

Full text of "The man of feeling"

See other formats

QlorncU UttinerBitg SItbtarg 







Cornell University Library 
PR3543.M2M2 1893 

The man of feeling 

3 1924 013 188 788 

The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 


Of this Large Paper Edition only 
One Hundred copies have been printed for 
England^ and Fifty for America {acquired 
by J. B. Lippincott Company). 

This is No. /3. 

c?Y Ml - /fa^^e 





IILVSTMTO) ^ pssx^ 

eJ.nJ)€NT S^Ce. /IT /ilJ)IN£ 
HOVf£,^,^R£;iT €gjr€RN <5T. 

LONDON. nncccxcnEi 




Portrait of Henry Mackenzie Frontispiece 

Frojn Sir Henry Raeburn's Painting in the 
National Portrait Gallery. 

He stood gazing 20 

"Infamous Coward" 77 

"I sometimes visit his Grave". . . 155 


THE source of most of the sketches of the life 
of our author appears to be an article in 
the British Gallery of Contemporary Por- 
traits, which has been reprinted, with slight altera- 
tions and additions, in more than one edition of 
his works ; and was used by Sir Walter Scott in 
writing the Memoir prefixed to the three novels 
of Mackenzie's in Ballantynis Novelists' Library, 
he having had, as he tells us, " the farther advan- 
tage of correcting and enlarging the statements 
which it contains from undoubted authority." In 
reprinting The Man of Feeling, we need, however, 
only give the very briefest summary of the life of 
its author. 

Henry Mackenzie was born in Edinburgh, in 
August 1745, his father being Joshua Mackenzie, 
an eminent physician in that city, and his mother 
Maitgaret, eldest daughter of Mr Rose, of Kilravock, 
in Nairnshire. After passing through the High 
School and the University of his native city, he 
was articled to the law, and in 1765, with a view 
to study the practice of the English Exchequer 
Courts, proceeded to London, where he wrote 
some part, at least, of his first book. Returning 

viii Henry Mackenzie. 

to Edinburgh he became partner with Mr Inglis, 
to whom he had been articled, and afterwards 
succeeded him as Attorney for the Crown. Possi- 
bly it was as a reward for his political writings 
that he was, at a later date, appointed Comptroller 
of Taxes for Scotland. He was married in 1776 
to Miss Penuel Grant, daughter of Sir Ludovick 
Grant of Grant, Bart., by whom he had a numerous 
family, and died at the age of 86, on the 14th of 
January 1831. 

The Man of Feeling was originally published 
anonymously in J 7 71, and appears not to have 
borne the author's name for many years after, 
though Mackenzie had acknowledged it, when, 
some few years after its publication, a young 
clergyman of Bath, named Eccles, had claimed 
its authorship, having copied out the whole book, 
and by erasures and corrections in the text, tried 
to sustain his claim. Even though the publishers 
had established Mackenzie's right, it seems that 
some people must still have believed in Eccles, 
for when, in 1777, he was drowned, an epitaph 
upon him appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine, 
commencing : — 

" Beneath this stone the ' Man of Feeling' lies.' 

The edition from which the present reprint is 
made is that of 1773, which was evidently revised 
in some matters of punctuation and grammar. In 
1773 Mackenzie published his second novel. 
The Man of the World, and in 1777 Julia de 

Henry Mackenzie. ix 

RoubignL In this or the following year a society 
of gentlemen was formed in Edinburgh, called the 
Tabernacle, afterwards renamed the Mirror Club. 
At its periodical gatherings, members were in the 
habit of reading essays and papers, and on his 
introduction to the Society, Mackenzie suggested 
that some sketches of character and matters of a 
lighter nature would give variety to the proceed- 
ings. From this innovation he went further, and 
in January 1779 there was started a weekly paper 
on the lines of the Spectator, called The Mirror, 
which he edited, and to which he contributed 
many of its best articles. One would think its 
circulation of 300 or 400 a week a very small 
matter, and it only ran for fifteen months ; but on 
its republication in three volumes, its copyright 
fetched sufficient to give a donation of ;£ioo to 
an Orphan Asylum, and yet to leave a balance to 
purchase wine for the Club's consumption. The 
next venture of the Club, and again with Macken- 
zie as editor, was The Lounger, which, commencing 
in 1785, ran for nearly two years, and had among 
its contents a very commendatory notice of Burns, 
then unknown to fame, written by Mackenzie. 

The collected edition of his works contains two 
tragedies, The Spanish Fattier and The Prince of 
Tunis, the latter of which, we are told by some 
biographers, was played with considerable success ; 
and a comedy, The White Hypocrite. Other plays 
of his seem to have been acted, but not published. 

In 1793 he contributed a life of Dr Blacklock to 

X Henry Mackenzie. 

a collected edition of the works of the blind poet ; 
and in 1812 he read before the Royal Society a 
memoir of John Home, which was, in 1822, pub- 
lished both by itself and with Home's works. 

Besides the above, he wrote many political 
tracts, amongst them An Account of the Parliament 

There is a fine portrait of Mackenzie by Sir 
Henry Raeburn in the National Portrait Gallery at 
Bethnal Green, from which the frontispiece to this 
volume is taken, and a very fine engraving, after 
the same artist, is in the collection of contemporary 
portraits above referred to. 

F. J. S. 



MY dog had made a point on a piece of 
fallow-ground, and led the curate and me 
two or three hundred yards over that and 
some stubble adjoining, in a breathless state of 
expectation, on a burning first of September; 

It was a false point, and our labour was vain : 
yet, to do Rover justice (for he's an excellent dog, 
though I have lost his pedigree), the fault was 
none of his, the birds were gone : the curate shewed 
me the spot where they had lain basking, at the 
root of an old hedge. 

I stopped and cried Hem ! The curate is fatter 
than I ; he wiped the sweat from his brow. 

There is no state where one is apter to pause 
and look round one, than after such a disappoint- 
ment. It is even so in life. When we have been 
hurrying on, impelled by some warm wish or other, 
looking neither to the right hand nor to the left — 
we find of a sudden that all our gay hopes are 
flown ; and the only slender consolation that some 
friend can give us, is to point where tjiey were 
once to be found. And lo ! if we are not of that 

2 Introduction. 

combustible race, who will rather beat their heads 
in spite, than wipe their brows with the curate, we 
look round and say, with the nauseated listlessness 
of the king of Israel, " All is vanity and vexation 
of spirit." 

I looked round with some such grave apoph- 
thegm in my mind when I discovered, for the first 
time, a venerable pile, to which the inclosure be- 
longed. An air of melancholy hung about it. 
There was a languid stillness in the day, and a 
single crow, that perched on an old tree by the 
side of the gate, seemed to delight in the echo of 
its own croaking. 

I leaned on my gun and looked ; but I had not 
breath enough to ask the curate a question. I 
observed carving on the bark of some of the trees : 
'twas indeed the only mark of human art about 
the place, except that some branches appeared to 
have been lopped, to give a view of the cascade, 
which was formed by a little rill at some distance. 

Just at that instant I saw pass between the trees, 
a young lady with a book in her hand. I stood 
upon a stone to observe her; but the curate sat 
him down on the grass, and leaning his back where 
I stood, told me, " That was the daughter of a 
neighbouring gentleman of the name of Walton, 
whom he had seen walking there more than once. 

" Some time ago,'' he said, " one Harley lived 
there, a whimsical sort of a man I am told, but I 
was not then in the cure ; though, if I had a turn 
for those things, I might know a good deal of his 

Introduction. 3 

history, for the greatest part of it is still in my 

" His history ! " said I. " Nay, you may call it 
what you please, said the curate ; for indeed it is 
no more a history than it is a sermon. The way I 
came by it was this : some time ago, a grave, oddish 
kind of man boarded at a farmer's in this parish : 
The country people called him The Ghost ; and he 
was known by the slouch in his gait, arid the length 
of his stride. I was but little acquainted with him, 
for he never frequented any of the clubs here- 
abouts. Yet for all he used to walk a-nights, he 
was as gentle as a lamb at times ; for I have seen 
him playing at te-totum with the children on the 
great stone at the door of our churchyard. 

"Soon after I was made curate, he left the 
parish, and went nobody knows whither ; and in 
his room was found a bundle of papers, which was 
brought to me by his landlord. I began to read 
them, but I soon grew weary of the task; for, 
besides that the hand is intolerably bad, I could 
never find the author in one strain for two chapters 
together; and I don't believe there's a single 
syllogism from beginning to end." 

" I should be glad to see this medley,'' said I. 
"You shall see it now," answered the curate, "for 
I always take it along with me a-shooting." " How 
came it so torn ? " " 'Tis excellent wadding," said 
the curate. — This was a plea of expediency I was 
not in a condition to answer ; for I had actually in 
my pocket great part of an edition of one of the 

4 Introduction. 

German lUustrissimi, for the very same purpose. 
We exchanged books ; and by that means (for the 
curate was a strenuous logician) we probably saved 

When 1 returned to town, I had leisure to peruse 
the acquisition I had made : I found it a bundle 
of little episodes, put together without art, and of 
no importance on the whole, with something of 
nature, and little else in them. I was a good deal 
affected with some very trifling passages in it ; and 
had the name of Marmontel, or a Richardson, 

been on the title-page 'tis odds that I should 

have wept : But 

One is ashamed to be pleased with the works of 
one knows not whom. 



L __2jEL^il 


Man of Feeling. 



THERE is some rust about every man at 
the beginning; though in some nations 
(among the French, for instance) the 
ideas of the inhabitants, from climate, or what 
other cause you will, are so vivacious, so eternally 
on the wing, that they must, even in small societies, 
have a frequent collision; the rust therefore will 
wear off sooner : but in Britain, it often goes with 
a man to his grave ; nay, he dares not even pen a 
hicjacet to speak out for him after his death. 

* The reader will remember, that the Editor is account- 
able only for scattered chapters, and fragments of chapters ; 
the curate must answer for the rest. The number at the top, 
when the chapter was entire, he has given as it originally 
stood,, with the title which its author had affixed to it. 


6 The Man of Feeling. 

" Let them rub it off by travel," said the baronet's 
brother, who was a striking instance of excellent 
metal, shamefully rusted. I had drawn my chair 
near his. Let me paint the honest old man : 'tis 
but one passing sentence to preserve his image in 
ray mind. 

He sat in his usual attitude, with his elbow rested 
on his knee, and his fingers pressed on his cheek. 
His face was shaded by his hand ; yet it was a face 
that might once have been well accounted hand- 
some ; its features were manly and striking, and a 
certain dignity resided on his eyebrows, which were 
the largest I remember to have seen. His person 
was tall and well-made ; but the indolence of his 
nature had now inclined it to corpulency. 

His remarks were few, and made only to his 
familiar friends ; but they were such as the world 
might have heard with veneration : and his heart, 
uncorrupted by its ways, was ever warm in the 
cause of virtue and his friends. 

He is now forgotten and gone ! The last time 
I was at Silton-hall, I saw his chair stand in its 
corner by the fire-side; there was an additional 
cushion on it, and it was occupied by my young 
lady's favourite lap-dog. I drew near unperceived, 
and pinched its ear in the bitterness of my soul ; 
the creature howled, and ran to its mistress. She 
did not suspect the author of its misfortune, but 
she bewailed it in the most pathetic terms ; and 
kissing its lips, laid it gently on her lap, and 
covered it with a cambrick handkerchief. I sat in 

The Man of Feeling. 7 

my old friend's seat ; I heard the roar of mirth and 
gaiety around me : poor Ben Silton ! I gave thee 
a tear then : accept of one cordial drop that falls 
to thy memory now. 

" They should wear if off by travel." — Why, it is 
true, said I, that will go far ; but then it will often 
happen, that in the velocity of a modern tour, and 
amidst the materials through which it is commonly 
made, the friction is so violent, that not only the 
rust, but the metal too, is lost in the progress. 

Give me leave to correct the expression of your 
metaphor, sard Mr Silton : that is not always rust 
which is acquired by the inactivity of the body on 
which it preys ; such, perhaps, is the case with me, 
though indeed I was never cleared from my youth ; 
but (taking it in its first stage) it is rather an en- 
crustation, which nature has given for purposes of 
the greatest wisdom. 

You are right, I returned ; and sometimes, like 
certain precious fossils, there may be hid under it 
gems of the piu-est brilliancy. 

Nay, farther, continued Mr Silton, there are two 
distinct sorts of what we call bashfulness ; this, the 
awkwardness of a booby, which a few steps into 
the world will convert into the pertness of a cox- 
comb; that, a consciousness, which the most 
delicate feelings produce, and the most extensive 
knowledge cannot always remove. 

From the incidents I have already related, I 
imagine it will be concluded, that Harley was of 
the latter species of bashful animals; at least, if 

8 The Man of Feeling. 

Mr Silton's principle is just, it may be argued on 
this side : for the gradation of the first mentioned 
sort, it is certain, he never attained. Some part of 
his external appearance was Tnodelled from the 
company of those gentlemen, whom the antiquity 
of a family, now possessed of bare £,2t^o a year, 
entitled its representative to approach : these in- 
deed were not many ; great part of the property in 
his neighbourhood being in the hands of merchants, 
who had got rich by their lawful calling abroad, 
and the sons of stewards, who had got rich by 
their lawful calling at home : persons so perfectly 
versed in the ceremonial of thousands, tens of 
thousands, and hundreds of thousands (whose 
degrees of precedency are plainly demonstrable 
from the first page of the Complete Accomptant, 
or Young Man's best Pocket Companion), that a 
bow at church from them to such a man as Harley, 
— would have made the parson look back into his 
sermon for some precept of Christian humility. 



THERE are certain interests which the 
world supposes every man to have, and 
which therefore are properly enough 
termed worldly ; but the world is apt to make an 
erroneous estimate : ignorant of the dispositions 
which constitute our happiness or misery, they 
bring to an undistinguished scale the means of the 
one, as connected with power, wealth or grandeur, 
and of the other with their contraries. Philoso- 
phers and poets have often protested against this 
decision ; but their arguments have been despised 
as declamatory, or ridiculed as romantic. 

There are never wanting to a young man some 
grave and prudent friends to set him right in this 
particular, if he need it : to watch his ideas as they 
arise, and point them to those objects which a wise 
man should never forget. 

Harley did not want for some monitors of this 
sort. He was frequently told of men, whose for- 
tunes enabled them to command all the luxuries of 
life, whose fortunes were of their own acquirement : 
his envy was invited by a description of their happi- 


lo The Man of Feeling. 

ness, and his emulation by a recital of the means 
which had procured it. 

Harley was apt to hear those lectures with indif- 
ference ; nay sometimes they got the better of his 
temper ; and as the instances were not always 
amiable, provoked, on his part, some reflections, 
which I am persuaded his good-nature would else 
have avoided. 

Indeed I have observed one ingredient, some- 
what necessary in a man's composition towards 
happiness, which people of feeling would do well 
to acquire ; a certain respect for the follies of man- 
kind : for there are so many fools whom the opinion 
of the world entitles to regard, whom accident has 
placed in heights of which they are unworthy, that 
he who cannot restrain his contempt, or indignation 
at the sight, will be too often quarrelling with the 
disposal of things, to relish that share which is 
allotted to himself. I do not mean, however, to 
insinuate this to have been the case with Harley ; 
on the contrary, if we might rely on his own testi- 
mony, the conceptions he had of pomp and grandeur 
served to endear the state which Providence had 
assigned him. 

He lost his father, the last surviving of his 
parents, as I have already related, when he was a 
boy. The good man, from a fear of offending, as 
well as a regard to his son, had named him a 
variety of guardians ; one consequence of which 
was, that they seldom met at all to consider the 
affairs of their ward ; and when tliey did meet, their 

The Man of Feeling. 1 1 

opinions were so opposite, that the only possible 
method of conciliation, was the mediatory power 
of a dinner and a bottle, which commonly inter- 
rupted, not ended, the dispute ; and after that in- 
terruption ceased, left the consulting parties in a 
condition not very proper for adjusting it. His 
education therefore had been but indifferently at- 
tended to ; and after being taken from a country- 
school, at which he had been boarded, the young 
gentleman was suffered to be his own master in the 
subsequent branches of literature, with some assist- 
ance from the parson of the parish in languages 
and philosophy, and from the exciseman in arith- 
metic and book-keeping. One of his guardians, 
indeed, who, in his youth, had been an inhabitant 
of the Temple, set him to read Coke upon Lyttel- 
ton ; a book which is very properly put into the 
hands of beginners in that science, as its simplicity 
is accommodated to their understandings, and its 
size to their inclination. He profited but little by 
the perusal ; but it was not without its use in the 
family : for his maiden aunt applied it commonly 
to the laudable purpose of pressing her rebellious 
linens to the folds she had allotted them. 

There were particularly two ways of increasing 
his fortune, which might have occurred to people 
of less foresight than the counsellors we have men- 
tioned. One of these was, 'the prospect of his suc- 
ceeding to an old lady, a distant relation, who was 
known to be possessed of a very large sum in the 
stocks : but in this their hopes were disappointed ; 

12 The Man of Feeling. 

for the young man was so untoward in his disposi- 
tion, that, notwithstanding the instructions he daily 
received, his visits rather tended to alienate than 
gain the goodwill of his kinswoman. He some- 
times looked grave when the old lady told the jokes 
of her youth; he often refused to eat when she 
pressed him, and was seldom or never provided 
with sugar-candy or liquorice when she was seized 
with ft fit of coughing : nay, be had once the rude- 
ness to fall asleep, while she was describing the 
composition and virtues of her favourite cholic- 
water. In short, he accommodated himself so ill 
to her humour, that she died, and did not leave 
him a farthing. 

The other method pointed out to him was, an 
endeavour to get a lease of some crown-lands, 
which lay contiguous to his little paternal estate. 
This, it was imagined, might be easily procured, as 
the crown did not draw so much rent as Harley 
could afford to give, with very considerable profit 
to himself; and the then lessee had rendered him- 
self so obnoxious to the ministry, by the disposal 
of his vote at an election, that he could not expect 
a renewal. This, however, needed some interest 
with the great, which Hurley or his father never 

His neighbour, Mr Walton, having heard of this 
affair, generously offered his assistance to accom- 
plish it. "He told him, that though he had long 
been a stranger to courtiers, yet he believed there 
were some of them who might pay regard to his 

The Man of Feeling. 13 

recommendation ; and that, if he thought it worth 
the while to take a London-journey upon the 
business, he would furnish him with a letter of 
introduction to a baronet of his acquaintance, who 
had a great deal to say with the first lord of the 

When his friends heard of this offer, they pressed 
him with the utmost earnestness to accept of it. 
They did not fail to enumerate the many advan- 
tages which a certain degree of spirit and assurance 
gives a man who would make a figure in the world : 
they repeated their instances of good fortune in 
others, ascribed them all to a happy forwardness 
of disposition ; and made so copious a recital of 
the disadvantages which attend the opposite weak- 
ness, that a stranger, who had heard them, would 
have been led to imagine, that in the British code 
there was some disqualifying statute against any 
citizen who should be convicted of — modesty. 

Harley, though he had no great relish for the 
attempt, yet could not resist the torrent of motives 
that assaulted him; and as he needed but little 
preparation for his journey, a day, not very distant, 
was fixed for his departure. 




HE day before that on which he set out, 

he went to take leave of Mr WaltoiL 

We would conceal nothing; — there was 
another person of the famUy to whom also the 
visit was intended, on whose account, perhaps, 
there were some tenderer feelings in the bosom of 
Harley, than his gratitude for the friendly notice of 
that gentleman (though he was seldom deficient in 
that virtue) could inspire. Mr Walton had a 
daughter ; and such a daughter ! we will attempt 
some description of her by and by. 

Harley's notions of the xaXov, or beautiful, were 
not always to be defined, nor indeed such as the 
world would always assent to, though we could 
define them. A blush, a phrase of affability to an 
inferior, a tear at a moving tale, were to him, like 
the Cestus of Cytherea, unequalled in conferring 
beauty. For all these Miss Walton was remark- 
able ; but as these, like the above-mentioned 
Cestus, are perhaps still more powerful, when the 
wearer is possessed of some degree of beauty, com- 
monly so called ; it happened, that, from this cause. 

The Man of Feeling. 15 

they had more than usual power in the person of 
that young lady. 

She was now arrived at that period of life which 
takes, or is supposed to take, from the flippancy of 
girlhood those sprightlinesses with which some 
good-natured old maids oblige the world at three- 
score. She had been ushered into life (as that 
word is used in the dialect of St James's) at seven- 
teen, her father being then in parliament, and 
living in London : at seventeen, therefore, she had 
been a universal toast ; her health, now she was 
four-and-twenty, was only drank by those who 
knew her face at least. Her complexion was 
mellowed into a paleness, which certainly took from 
her beauty ; but agreed, at least Harley used to say 
so, with the pensive softness of her mind. Her 
eyes were of that gentle hazel colour which is 
rather mild than piercing ; and, except when they 
were lighted up by good humour, which was fre- 
quently the case, were supposed by the fine gentle- 
men to want fire. Her air and manner were 
elegant in the highest degree, and were as sure of 
commanding respect, as their mistress was far from 
demanding it. Her voice was inexpressibly soft ; 
it was, according to that incomparable simile of 

" like the shepherd's pipe upon the mountains, 

When all his little flock's at feed before him." 

The effect it had upon Harley, himself used to 
paint ridiculously enough; and ascribed it to 

1 6 The Man of Feeling. 

powers, which few believed, and nobody cared 

Her conversation was always cheerful, but rarely 
witty ; and without the smallest affectation of 
learning, had as much sentiment in it as would 
have puzzled a Turk, upon his principles of female 
materialism, to account for. Her beneficence was 
unbounded ; indeed the natural tenderness of her 
heart might have been argued, by the frigidity of a 
casuist, as detracting from her virtue in this respect, 
for her humanity was a feeling, not a principle : 
but minds hke Harley's are not very apt to make 
this distinction, and generally give our virtue credit 
for all that benevolence which is instinctive in our 

As her father had some years retired to the 
country, Harley had frequent opportunities of see- 
ing her. He looked on her for some time merely 
with that respect and admiration which her appear- 
ance seemed to demand, and the opinion of others 
conferred upon her : from this cause, perhaps, and 
from that extreme sensibility of* which we have 
taken frequent notice, Harley was remarkably 
silent in her presence. He heard her sentiments 
with peculiar attention, sometimes with looks very 
expressive of approbation ; but seldom declared 
his opinion on the subject, much less made 
compliments to the lady on the justness of her 

From this very reason it was, that Miss Walton fre- 
quently took more particular notice of him than of 

The Man of Feeling. 17 

other visitors, who, by the laws of precedency, were 
better entitled to it : it was a mode of politeness 
she had peculiarly studied, to bring to the hne of 
that equality, which is ever necessary for the ease 
of our guests, those whose sensibihty had placed 
them below it. 

Harley saw this ; for though he was a child in the 
drama of the world ; yet was it not altogether owing 
to a want of knowledge in his part ; on the con- 
trary, the most delicate consciousness of propriety 
often kindled that blush which marred the perform- 
ance of it : this raised his esteem something above 
what the most sanguine descriptions of her good- 
ness had been able to do ; for certain it is, that 
notwithstanding the laboured definitions which 
very wise men have given us of the inherent beauty 
of virtue, we are always inclined to think her hand- 
somest when she condescends to smile upon our- 

It would be trite to observe the easy gradation 
from esteem to love : in the bosom of Harley 
there scarce needed a transition ; for there were 
certain seasons when his ideas were flushed to a 
degree much above their common complexion. In 
times not credulous of inspiration, we should 
account for this from some natural cause ; but 
we do not mean to account for it at all ; it were 
sufficient to describe its effects; but they were 
sometimes so ludicrous, as might derogate from 
the dignity of the sensations which produced them 
to describe. They were treated indeed as such by 

1 8 Tlie Man of Feeling. 

most of Harley's sober friends, who often laughed 
very heartily at the awkward blunders of the real 
Harley, whep the different faculties, which should 
have prevented them, were entirely occupied by the 
ideal. In some of these paroxysms of fancy. Miss 
Walton did not fail to be introduced ; and the 
picture which had been drawn amidst the surround- 
ing objects of unnoticed levity, was now singled 
out to be viewed through the medium of romantic 
imagination : it was improved of course, and 
esteem was a word inexpressive of the feelings 
which it excited. 



HE had taken leave of his aunt on the eve of 
his intended , departure ; but the good 
lady's affection for her nephew interrupted 
her sleep, and early as it was next morning when 
Harley came down stairs to set out, he found her 
in the parlour with a tear on her cheek, and her 
caudle-cup in her hand. She knew enough of 
physic to prescribe against going abroad of a morn- 
ing with an empty stomach. She gave her blessing 
with the draught J her instructions she had de- 
livered the night before. They consisted mostly 
of negatives ; for London, in her idea, was so 
replete with temptations, that it needed the whole 
armour of her friendly cautions to repel their attacks. 
Peter stood at the door. We have mentioned 
this faithful fellow formerly : Harley's father had 
taken him up an orphan, and saved him from 
being cast on the parish ; and he had ever since 
remained in the service of him and of his son. 
Harley shook him by the hand as he passed, smil- 
ing, as if he had said, "I will not weep." He 

20 The Man of Feeling. 

sprung hastily into the chaise that waited for him : 
Peter folded up the step. " My dear master (said 
he, shaking the solitary lock that hung on either 
side of his head), I have been told as how London 

is a sad place." He was choaked with the 

thought, and his benediction could not be heard : 
— but it shall be heard, honest Peter! — where 
these tears will add to its energy. 

In a few hours Harley reached the inn where he 
proposed breakfasting ; but the fulness of his heart 
would not suifer him to eat a morsel. He walked 
out on the road, and gaining a little height, stood 
gazing on that quarter he had left. He looked for 
his wonted prospect, his fields, his woods, and his 
hills : they were lost in the distant clouds ! He 
pencilled them on the clouds, and bade them fare- 
well with a sigh ! 

He sat down on a large stone to take out a little 
pebble from his shoe, when he saw, at some dis- 
tance, a beggar approaching him. He had on a 
loose sort of coat, mended with different-coloured 
rags, amongst which the blue and the russet were 
predominant. He had a short knotty stick in his 
hand, and on the top of it was stuck a ram's horn ; 
his knees (though he was no pilgrim) had worn the 
stuff of his breeches ; he wore no shoes, and his 
stockings had entirely lost that part of them which 
should have covered his feet and ankles : in his 
face, however, was the plump appearance of good 
humour; he walked a good round pace, and a 
crook legged dog trotted at his heels. 

The Man of Feeling. 21 

"Our delicacies, said Harley to himself, are 
fantastic ; they are not in nature ! that beggar 
walks over the sharpest of these stones barefooted, 
whilst I have lost the most delightful dream in the 
world, from the smallest of them happening to get 
into my shoe."— The beggar had by this time 
come up, and pulling off a piece of hat, asked 
charity of Harley ; the dog began to beg too : — it 
was impossible to resist both; and, in truth, the 
want of shoes and stockings had made both un- 
necessary, for Harley had destined sixpence for 
him before. The beggar, on receiving it, poured 
forth blessings without number ; and, with a sort 
of smile on his countenance, said to Harley, " that 
if he wanted to have his fortune told" — Harley 
turned his eye briskly on the beggar : it was an 
unpromising look for the subject of a prediction, 
and silenced the prophet immediately. " I would 
much rather learn, said Harley, what it is in your 
power to tell me : your trade must be an entertain- 
ing one : sit down on this stone, and let me know 
something of your profession ; I have often thought 
of turning fortune-teller for a week or two myself." 

" Master, replied the beggar, I like your frank- 
ness much; God knows I had the humour of 
plain-dealing in me from a child ; but there is no 
doing with it in this world ; we must live as we 
can, and lying is, as you call it, my profession : 
but I was in some sort forced to the trade, for I 
dealt once in telling truth. 

" I was a labourer. Sir, and gained as much as 

22 The Man of Feeling. 

to make me live : I never laid by indeed : for I 
was reckoned a piece of a wag, and your wags, I 
take it, are seldom rich, Mr Harley." " So, said 
Harley, you seem to know me." "Ay, there are 
few folks in the country that I don't know some- 
thing of: how should I tell fortunes else?" 
" True ; but to go on with your story : you were 
a labourer, you say, and a wag ; your industry, I 
suppose, you left with your old trade; but your 
humour you preserve to be of use to you in your 

" What signifies sadness. Sir ? a man grows lean 
on't : but I was brought to my idleness by degrees ; 
first I could not work, and it went against my 
stomach to work ever after. I was seized with a 
jail fever at the time of the assizes being in the 
county where I lived ; for I was always curious to 
get acquainted with the felons, because they are 
commonly fellows of much mirth and little thought, 
qualities I had ever an esteem for. In the height 
of this fever, Mr Harley, the house where I lay 
took fire, and burnt to the ground : I was carried 
out in that condition, and lay all the rest of my 
illness in a barn. I got the better of my disease, 
however, but I was so weak that I spit blood when- 
ever I attempted to work. I had no relation living 
that I knew of, and I never kept a friend above a 
week, when I was able to joke ; I seldom remained 
above six months in a parish, so that I might have 
died before I had found a settlement in any : thus 
I was forced to beg my bread, and a sorry trade I 

The Man of Feeling. 23 

found it, Mr Harley. I told all my misfortunes 
truly, but they were seldom believed ; and the few 
who gave me a halfpenny as they passed, did it 
with a shake of the head, and an injunction not to 
trouble them with a long story. In shdrt, I found 
that people don't care to give alms without some 
security for their money ; a wooden leg or a withered 
arm is a sort of draught upon heaven for those 
who chuse to have their money placed to account 
there ; so I changed my plan, and, instead of tell- 
ing my own misfortunes, began to prophesy happi- 
ness to others. This I found by much the better 
way : folks will always listen when the tale is their 
own ; and of many who say they do not believe in 
fortune-telling, I have known few on whom it had 
not a very sensible effect. I pick up the names of 
their acquaintance ; amours and little squabbles 
are easily gleaned among servants and neighbours ; 
and indeed people themselves are the best intelli- 
gencers in the world for our purpose : they dare 
not puzzle us for their own sakes, for every one is 
anxious to hear what they wish to believe; and 
they who repeat it to laugh at it when they have 
done, are generally more serious than their hearers 
are apt to imagine. With a tolerable good memory, 
and some share of cunning, with the help of walk- 
ing a-nights over heaths and church-yards, with 
this, and showing the tricks of that there dog, whom 
I stole from the serjeant of a marching regiment 
(and by the way he can steal too upon occasion), 
I make shift to pick up a livelihood- My trad^, 

24 The Man of Feeling. 

indeed, is none of the honestest; yet people are 
not much cheated neither, who give a few half- 
pence for a prospect of happiness, which I have 
heard some persons say is all a man can arrive at 
in this world. — But I must bid you good-day, Sir ; 
for I have three miles to walk before noon, to in- 
form some boarding-school young ladies, whether 
their husbands are to be peers of the realm, or 
captains in the army : a question which I promised 
to answer them by that time." 

Harley had drawn a shilling from his pocket; 
but Virtue bade him consider on whom he was 
going to bestow it. — Virtue held back his arm : — 
but a milder form, a younger sister of Virtue's, not 
so severe as Virtue nor so serious as Pity, smiled 
upon him : His fingers lost their compression ; — 
nor did Virtue offer to catch the money as it fell. 
It had no sooner reached the ground than the 
watchful cur (a trick he had been taught) snapped 
it up ; and, contrary to the most approved method 
of stewardship, delivered it immediately into the 
hands of his master. 




WE have related, in a former chapter, the 
little success of his first visit to the great 
man, for whom he had the introductory 
letter from Mr Walton. To people of equal sensi- 
bility, the influence of those trifles we mentioned 
on his deportment will not appear surprising ; but 
to his friends in the country, they could not be 
^stated, nor would they have allowed them any 
place in the account. In some of their letters, 
therefore, which he received soon after, they ex- 
pressed their surprise at his not having been more 
urgent in his application, and again recommended 
the blushless assiduity of successful merit. 

He resolved to make another attempt at the 
baronet's ; fortified with higher notions of his own 
dignity, and with less apprehension of repulse. In 
his way to Grosvenor-square he began to ruminate 
on the folly of mankind, who aflfixed those ideas of 
superiority to riches, which reduced the minds of 
men, by nature equal with the more fortunate, to 

26 The Man of Feeling. 

that sort of servility which he felt in his own. By 
the time he had reached the Square, and was walk- 
ing along the pavement which led to the baronet's, 
he had brought his reasoning on the subject to 
such a point, that the conclusion, by every rule of 
logic, should have led him to a thorough indiffer- 
ence in his approaches to a fellow-mortal, whether 
that fellow-mortal was possessed of six, or six thou- 
sand pounds a year. It is probable, however, that 
the premises had been improperly formed : for it 
is certain, that when he approached the great man's 
door, he felt his heart agitated by an unusual 

He had almost reached it, when he observed a 
young gentleman coming out, dressed in a white 
frock, and a red laced waistcoat, with a small 
switch in his hand, which he seemed to manage 
with a particular good grace. As he passed him 
on the steps, the stranger very politely made him a 
bow, which Harley returned, though he could not 
remember ever having seen him before. He asked 
Harley, in the same civil manner, if he was going 
to wait on his friend the Baronet ? " For I was 
just calling, said he, and am sorry to find that he 
is gone for some days into the country." Harley 
thanked him for his information ; and was turning 
from the door, when the other observed that it 
would be proper to leave his name, and very oblig- 
ingly knocked for that purpose. " Here is a gentle- 
man, Tom, who meant to have waited on your 
master.'' "Your name, if you please. Sir?" 

The Man of Feeling. 27 

" Hartey."—" You'll remember, Tom, Harley."— 
The door was shut. " Since we are here, said he, 
we shall not lose our walk, if we add a little to it 
by a turn or two in Hyde Park." He accompanied 
this proposal with a second bow, and Harley 
accepted of it by another in return. 

The conversation, as they walked, was brilliant 
on the side of his companion. The playhouse, the 
opera, with every occurrence in high-life, he seemed 
perfectly master of; and talked of some reigning 
beauties of quality, in a manner the most feeling 
in the world. Harley admired the happiness of 
his vivacity ; and, opposite as it was to the reserve 
of his own nature, began to be much pleased with 
its effects. 

Though I am not of opinion with some wise 
men, that the existence of objects depends on idea; 
yet, I am convinced, that their appearance is not 
a little influenced by it. The optics of some minds 
are in so unlucky a perspective, as to throw a cer- 
tain shade on every picture that is presented to 
them ; while those of others (of which number was 
Harley), like the mirrors of the ladies, have a 
wonderful effect in bettering their complexions. 
Through such a medium perhaps he was looking 
on his present companion. 

When they had finished their walk, and were 
returning by the corner of the Park, they observed 
a board hung out of a window, signifying, "an 
excellent ordinary on Saturdays and Sundays." 
It happened to be Saturday, and the table was 

28 The Man of Feeling. 

covered for the purpose. " What if we should go 
in and dine here, if you happen not to be engaged, 
Sir ? " said the young gentleman. " It is not im- 
possible but we shall meet with some original or 
other; it is a sort of humour I like hugely." 
Harley made no objection; and the stranger 
showed him the way into the parlour. 

He was placed, by the courtesy of his introduc- 
tor, in an arm-chair that stood at one side of the 
fire. Over against him was seated a man of a 
grave considering aspect, with that look of sober 
prudence which indicates what is commonly called 
a warm man. He wore a pretty large wig, which 
had once been white, but was now of a brownish 
yellow ; his coat was one of those modest-coloured 
drabs which mock the injuries of dust and dirt ; 
two jack-boots concealed, in part, the well-mended 
knees of an old pair of buckskin breeches, while 
the spotted handkerchief round his neck, preserved 
at once its owner from catching cold, and his neck- 
cloth from being dirtied. Next him sat another 
man, with a tankard in his hand, and a quid of 
tobacco in his cheek, whose eye was rather more 
vivacious, and whose dress was something smarter. 

The first-mentioned gentleman took notice, that 
the room had been so lately washed, as not to have 
had time to dry ; and remarked, that wet lodging 
was unwholesome for man or beast. He looked 
round at the same time for a poker to stir the fire 
with, which, he at last observed to the company, 
the people of the house had removed, in order to 

The Man of Feeling. 29 

save their coals. This diiificulty, however, he over- 
came, by the help of Harley's stick, saying, " that 
as they should, no doubt, pay for their fire in some 
shape or other, he saw no reason why they should 
not have the use of it while they sat." 

The door was now opened for the admission of 
dinner. " I don't know how it is with you, gentle- 
men, said Harley's new acquaintance; but I am 
afraid I shall not be able to get down a morsel at 
this horrid mechanical hour of dining." He sat 
down, however, and did not show any want of 
appetite by his eating. He took upon him the 
carving of the meat, and criticised on the goodness 
of the pudding. 

When the table-cloth was removed, he proposed 
calling for some punch, which was readily agreed 
to ; he seemed at first inclined to make it himself, 
but afterwards changed his mind, and left that pro- 
vince to the waiter, telling him to have it pure 
West Indian, or he could not taste a drop of it. 

When the punch was brought, he undertook to 
fill the glasses and call the toasts. — " The king." — 
The toast naturally produced politics. It is .the 
privilege of Englishmen to drink the king's health, 
and to talk of his conduct. The man who sat 
opposite to Harley (and who by this time, partly 
from himself, and partly from his acquaintance on 
his left hand, was discovered to be a grazier) ob- 
served, "That it was a shame for so many pen- 
sioners to be allowed to take the bread out of the 
mouth of the poor." " Ay, and provisions, said his 

30 The Man of Feeling. 

friend, were never so dear in the memory of man ; 
I wish the king, and his counsellors, would look to 
that." " As for the matter of provisions, neighbour 
Wrightson, he replied, I am sure the prices of 
cattle — " A dispute would have probably ensued, 
but it was prevented by the spruce toast master, 
who gave a sentiment ; and turning to the two politi- 
cians, " Pray, gentlemen, said he, let us have done 
with these musty politics : I would always leave 
them to the beer-suckers in Butcher-row. Come, 
let us have something of the fine arts. That was a 
damn'd hard match betwixt the Nailor and Tim 
Bucket. The knowing ones were cursedly taken 
in there ! I lost a cool hundred myself, faith." 

At mention of the cool hundred, the grazier 
threw his eyes aslant, with a mingled look of 
doubt and surprise ; while the man at his elbow 
looked arch, and gave a short emphatical sort of 

Both seemed to be silenced, however, by this 
intelligence ; and, while the remainder of the 
punch lasted, the conversation was wholly en- 
grossed by the gentleman with the fine waistcoat, 
who told a great many " immense comical stories," 
and "confounded smart things," as he termed 
them, acted and spoken by lords, ladies, and young 
bucks of quality, of his acquaintance. At last, the 
grazier, pulling out a watch, of a very unusual size, 
and telling the hour, said, that he had an appoint- 
ment. " Is it so late ? said the young gentleman ; 
then I am afraid I have missed an appointment 

The Man of Feeling. 31 

already ; but the truth is, I am cursedly given to 
missing of appointments." 

When the grazier and he were gone, Harley 
turned to the remaining personage, and asked him, 
If he knew that young gentleman ? "A gentleman ! 
said he ; ay, he is one of your gentlemen, at the 
top of an affidavit. I knew him, some years ago, 
in tlie quality of a footman ; and, I believe, he had 
sometimes the honour to be a pimp. At last, some 
of the great folks, to whom he had been serviceable 
in both capacities, had him made a gauger ; in 
which station he remains, and has the assurance to 
pretend an acquaintance with men of quality. The 
impudent dog ! with a few shillings in his pocket, 
he will talk you three times as much as my friend 
Mundy there, who is worth nine thousand, if he 's 
worth a farthing. But I know the rascal, and 
despise him, as he deserves." 

Harley began to despise him too, and to con- 
ceive some indignation at having sat with patience 
to hear such a fellow speak nonsense. But he 
corrected himself, by reflecting, that he was per- 
haps as well entertained, and instructed too, by 
this same modest gauger, as he should have been 
by such a man as he had thought proper to per- 
sonate. And surely the fault may more properly 
be imputed to that rank where the futility is real, 
than where it is feigned; to that rank, whose 
opportunities for nobler accomplishments have only 
served to rear a fabric of folly, which the untutored 
hand of affectation, even among the meanest of 
mankind, can imitate with success. 



OF those things called Sights in London, 
which every stranger is supposed desirous 
to see, Bedlam is one. To that place, 
therefore, an acquaintance of Harley's, after having 
accompanied him to several other shows, proposed 
a visit. Harley objected to it, " because, said he, 
I think it an inhuman practice to expose the 
greatest misery with which our nature is afflicted, 
to every idle visitant who can afford a trifling 
perquisite to the keeper; especially as it is a 
distress which the humane must see with the 
painful reflection, that it is not in their power to 
alleviate it." He was overpowered, however, by 
the solicitations of his friend and the other persons 
of the party (amongst whom were several ladies) ; 
and they went in a body to Moorfields. 

Their conductor led them first to the dismal 
mansions of those who are in the most horrid state 
of incurable madness. The clanking of chains, 
the wildness of their cries, and the imprecations 
which some of them uttered, formed a scene in- 

The Man of Feeling. 33 

expressibly shocking. Harley and his companions, 
especially the female part of them, begged their 
guide to return : he seemed surprised at their 
uneasiness, and was with difficulty prevailed on to 
leave that part of the house without showing them 
some others ; who, as he expressed it in the phrase 
of those that keep wild beasts for show, were 
much better worth seeing than any they had passed, 
being ten times more fierce and unmanageable. 

He led them next to that quarter where those 
reside, who, as they are not dangerous to them- 
selves or others, enjoy a certain degree of freedom, 
according to the state of their distemper. 

Harley had fallen behind hip companions, look- 
ing at a man, who was making pendulums with 
bits of thread, and little balls of clay. He had 
delineated a segment of a circle on the wall with 
chalk, and marked their different vibrations, by 
intersecting it with cross lines. A decent looking 
man came up, and smiling at the maniac, turned to 
Harley, and told him, that gentleman had once 
been a very celebrated mathematician. " He fell a 
sacrifice, said he, to the theory of comets; for 
having, with infinite labour, formed a table on the 
conjectures of Sir Isaac Newton, he was dis- 
appointed in the return of one of those luminaries, 
and was very soon after obliged to be placed here 
by his friends. If you please to follow me. Sir, 
continued the stranger, I believe I shall be able to 
give you a more satisfactory account of the unfortu- 
nate people you see here, than the man who attends 

34 The Man of Feeling. 

your companions." Harley bowed, and accepted 
his offer. 

The next person they came up to had scrawled 
a variety of figures on a piece of slate. Harley 
had the curiosity to take a nearer view of them. _ 
They consisted of different columns, on the top of 
which were marked South-sea annuities, India- 
stock, and Three per cent, annuities consol. 
"This, said Harley's instructor, was a gentleman 
well known in Change-alley. He was once worth 
fifty thousand pounds, and had actually agreed for 
the purchase of an estate in the West, in order to 
realize his money ; but he quarrelled with the pro- 
prietor about the repairs of the garden-wall, and so 
returned to town to follow his old trade of stock- 
jobbing a little longer ; when an unlucky fluctuation 
of stock, in which he was engaged to an immense 
extent, reduced him at once to poverty and to 
madness. Poor wretch ! he told me t'other day, 
that against the next pa)mient of differences, he 
should be some hundreds above a plum." — 

" It is a spondee, and I will maintain it," inter- 
rupted a voice on his left hand. This assertion 
was followed by a very rapid recital of some verses 
from Homer. "That figure, said the gentleman, 
whose clothes are so bedaubed with snuff, was a 
schoolmaster of some reputation : he came hither 
to be resolved of some doubts he entertained con- 
cerning the genuine pronunciation of the Greek 
vowels. In his highest fits, he makes frequent 
mention of one Mr, Bentley. 

The Man of Feeling. 35 

" But delusive ideas, Sir, are the motives of the 
greatest part of mankind, and a heated imagination 
the power by which their actions are incited : the 
world, in the eye of a philosopher, may be said to 
be a large madhouse." " It is true, answered 
Harley, the passons of men are temporary mad- 
nesses ; and sometimes very fatal in their effects. 

From Macedonia's madman to the Swede." 

"It was indeed, said the stranger, a very mad 
thing in Charles, to think of adding so vast a 
country as Russia to his dominions ; that would 
have been fatal indeed ; the balance of the North 
would then have been lost ; but the Sultan and I 

would never have allowed it." " Sir ! " said 

Harley, with no small surprise on his counten- 
ance. "Why, yes, answered the other, the Sultan 
and I ; do you know me ? I am the Chan of 

Harley was a good deal struck by this discovery ; 
he had prudence enough, however, to conceal his 
amazement, and bowing as low to the monarch, as 
his dignity required, left him immediately, and 
joined his companions. 

He found them in a quarter of the house set 
apart for the insane of the other sex, several of 
whom had gathered about the female visitors, and 
were examining, with rather more accuracy than 
might have been expected, the particulars of their 

Separate from the rest stood one, whose appear- 

36 The Man of Feeling. 

ance had something of superior dignity. Her face, 
though pale and wasted, was less squalid than those 
of the others, and showed a dejection of that decent 
kind, which moves our pity unmixed with horror : 
upon her, therefore, the eyes of all were immediately 
turned. The keeper, who accompanied them, ob- 
served' it : " This, said he, is a young lady, who was 
born to ride in her coach and six. She was be- 
loved, if the story I have heard is true, by a young 
gentleman, her equal in birth, though by no means 
her match in fortune : but love, they say, is blind, 
and so she fancied him as much as he did her. 
Her father, it seems, would not hear of their mar- 
riage, and threatened to turn her out of doors, if 
ever she saw him again. Upon this the young 
gentleman took a voyage to the West Indies, in 
hopes of bettering his fortune, and obtaining his 
mistress ; but he was scarce landed, when he was 
seized with one of the fevers which are common in 
those islands, and died in a few days, lamented by 
every one that knew him. This news soon reached 
his mistress, who was at the same time pressed by 
her father to marry a rich miserly feUow, who was 
old enough to be her grandfather. The death of 
her lover had no effect on her inhuman parent : 
he was only the more earnest for her marriage with 
the man he had provided for her; and what be- 
tween her despair at the death of the one, and her 
aversion to the other, the poor young lady was re- 
duced to the condition you see her in. But God 
would not prosper such cruelty ; her father's affairs 

The Man of Feeling. 37 

soon after went to wreck, and he died almost a 

Though this story was told in very plain language, 
it had particularly attracted Harley's notice; he 
had given it the tribute of some tears. The un- 
fortunate young lady had till now seemed entranced 
in thought, with her eyes fixed on a little garnet 
ring she wore on her finger : she turned them now 
upon Harley. " My Billy is no more ! said she, 
do you weep for my Billy? Blessings on your 
tears ! I would weep too, but my brain is dry ; and 
it burns, it burns, it burns ! " — She drew nearer to 
Harley. — " Be comforted, young lady, said he, your 
Billy is in Heaven." — " Is he, indeed ? and shall we 
meet again ? and shall that frightful man (pointing 
to the keeper) not be there ? — Alas ! I am grown 
naughty of late ; I have almost forgotten to think 
of heaven : yet I pray sometimes ; when I can, I 
pray ; and sometimes I sing ; when I am saddest, 
I sing : — You shall hear me, hush ! 

" Light be the earth on Billy's breast, 
And green the sod that wraps his grave ! " 

There was a plaintive wildness in the air not to be 
withstood ; and except the keeper's, there was not 
an unmoistened eye around her. 

"Do you weep again? said she; I would not 
have you weep : you are like my Billy : you are, 
believe me; just so he looked when he gave me 
this ring ; poor Billy ! 'twas the last time ever we 
met ! — '. 

38 The Man of Feeling. 

" 'Twas when the seas were roaring — I love you 
for resembling my Billy ; but I shall never love any 
man like him." — She stretched out her hand to 
Harleyj he pressed it between both of his, and 
bathed it with his tears. — "Nay, that is Billy's ring, 
said she, you cannot have it, indeed ; but here is 
another, look here, which I plated to-day of some 
gold-thread from this bit of stuff; will you keep it 
for my sake ? I am a strange girl ; — but my heart 
is harmless : my poor heart ; it will burst some day ; 
feel how it beats ! " — 5he press'd his hand to her 
bosom, then holding her head in the attitude of 
listening — " Hark ! one, two, three ! be quiet, thou 
little trembler ; my Billy's is cold !— but I had 
forgotten the ring." — She put it on his finger. — 
" Farewell ! I must leave you now." — She would 
have withdrawn her hand ; Harley held it to his 
lips. — " I dare not stay longer ; my head throbs 

sadly : farewell ! " She walked with a hurried 

step to a little apartment at some distance. Harley 
stood fixed in astonishment and pity ! his friend 
gave money to the keeper. — Harley looked on his 
ring. — He put a couple of guineas into the man's 
hand : " Be kind to that unfortunate " — He burst 
into tears, and left them. 




THE friend, who had conducted him to 
Moorfields, called upon him again the 
next evening. After some talk on the 
adventures of the preceding day; "I carried you 
yesterday, said he to Harley, to visit the mad ; let 
me introduce you to-night, at supper, to one of the 
wise : but you must not look for any thing of the 
Socratic pleasantry about him ; on the contrary, I 
warn you to expect the spirit of a Diogenes. That 
you may be a little prepared for his extraordinary 
manner, I will let you into some particulars of his 

" He is the elder of the two sons of a gentleman 
of considerable estate in the country. Their father 
died when they were young : both were remarkable 
at school for quickness of parts, and extent of 
genius ; this had been bred to no profession, be- 
cause his father's fortune, which descended to him, 
was thought sufficient to set him above it ; the 
other was put apprentice to an eminent attorney. 
In this the expectations of his friends were more 
consulted than his own inclination ; for both his 

40 The Man of Feeling. 

brother and he had feelings of that warm kind, 
that could ill brook a study so dry as the law, 
especially in that department of iti which was 
allotted to him. But the difference of their tem- 
pers made the characteristical distinction between 
them. The younger, from the gentleness of his 
nature, bore with patience a situation entirely dis- 
cordant to his genius and disposition. At times, 
indeed, his pride would suggest, of how little im- 
portance those talents were, which the partiality of 
his friends had often extolled : they were now in- 
cumbrances in a walk of life where the dull and 
the ignorant passed him at every turn ; his fancy 
and his feeling were invincible obstacles to emi- 
nence in a situation, where his fancy had no room 
for exertion, and his feeling experienced perpetual 
disgust. But these murmurings he never suffered 
to be heard; and that he might not offend the 
prudence of those who had been concerned in the 
choice of his profession, he continued to labour 
in it several years, till, by the death of a relation, 
he succeeded to an estate of a little better than 
_;£ioo a year, with which, and the small patrimony 
left him, he retired into the country, and made a 
love-match with a young lady of a temper similar 
to his own, with whom the sagacious world pitied 
him for finding happiness. 

" But his elder brother, whom you are to see at 
supper, if you will do us the favour of your com- 
pany, was naturally impetuous, decisive, and over- 
bearing. He entered into life with those ardent 

The Man of Feeling. 41 

expectations by which young men are commonly 
deluded : in his friendships, warm to excess ; and 
equally violent in his dislikes. He was on the 
brink of marriage with a young lady when one of 
those friends, for whose honour he would have 
pawned his hfe, made an elopement with that very 
goddess, and left him besides deeply engaged for 
sums which that good friend's extravagance had 

" The dreams he had formerly enjoyed were now 
changed for ideas of a very different nature. He 
abjured all confidence in any thing of human 
form; sold his lands, which still produced him 
a very large reversion, came to town, and im- 
mured himself with a woman who had been his 
nurse, in little better than a garret ; and has ever 
since applied his talents to the vilifying of his 
species. In one thing I must take the liberty to 
instruct you; however different your sentiments 
may be (and different they must be), you will 
suffer him to go on without contradiction; other- 
wise he will be silent immediately, and we shall 
not get a word from him all the night after.'' 
Harley promised to reknember this injunction, and 
accepted the invitation of his friend. 

When they arrived at the house, they were in- 
formed that the gentleman was come, and had 
been shown into the parlour. They found him 
sitting with a daughter of his friend's about three 
years old, on his knee, whom he was teaching the 
alphabet from a horn-book : at a little distance 

42 The Man of Feeling. 

stood a sister of hers, some years older. "Get 
you away, Miss, said he to this last, you are a pert 
gossip, and I will have nothing to do with you." 
" Nay, answered she, Nancy is your favourite ; you 
are quite in love with Nancy." " Take away that 
girl, said he to her father, whom he now observed 
to have entered the room, she has woman about 
her already." The children were accordingly dis- 

Betwixt that and supper-time he did not utter a 
syllable. When supper came, he quarrelled with 
every dish at table, but ate of them all; only 
exempting from his censures a salad, which you 
have not spoiled, said he, because you have not 
attempted to cook it. 

When the wine was set upon the table, he took 
from his pocket a particular smoking apparatus, 
and filled his pipe, without taking any more notice 
of Harley, or his friend, than if no such persons 
had been in the room. 

Harley could not help stealing a look of sur- 
prise at him ; but his friend, who knew his humour, 
returned it, by annihilating his presence in the 
like manner, and, leaving him to his own medi- 
tations, addressed himself entirely to Harley. 

In their discourse some mention happened to be 
made of an amiable character, and the words 
honour and politeness were applied to it. Upon 
this the gentleman, laying down his pipe, and 
changing the tone of his countenance, from an 
ironical grin to something more intently con- 

Thi Man of Feeling. 43 

temptuous : " Honour, said he, Honour and Pol- 
iteness ! this is the coin of the world, and passes 
current with the fools of it. You have substituted 
the shadow Honour, instead of the substance 
Virtue ; and have banished the reality of friend- 
ship for the fictitious semblance, which you have 
termed Politeness : politeness, which consists in a 
certain ceremonious jargon, more ridiculous to the 
ear of reason than the voice of a puppet. You 
have invented sounds, which you worship, though 
they tyrannise over your peace; and are sur- 
rounded with empty forms, which take from the 
honest emotions of joy, and add to the poignancy 
of misfortune." — " Sir ! " said Harley — His friend 
winked to him, to remind him of the caution he 
had received. He was silenced by the thought — 
The philosopher turned his eye upon him : he 
examined him from top to toe, with a sort of 
triumphant contempt. Harley's coat happened to 
be a new one ; the other's was as shabby as could 
possibly be supposed to be on the back of a 
gentleman : there was much significance in his 
look with regard to this coat: it spoke of the 
sleekness of folly, and the threadbareness of 

" Truth, continued he, the most amiable, as well 
as the most natural of virtues, you are at pains to 
eradicate. Your very nurseries are seminaries of 
falsehood; and what is called Fashion in man- 
hood, completes the system of avowed insincerity. 
Mankind, in the gross, is a gaping monster, that 

44 The Man of Feeling. 

loves to be deceived, and has seldom been disap- 
pointed : nor is their vanity less fallacious to your 
philosophers, who adopt modes of truth to follow 
them through the paths of error, and defend para- 
doxes merely to be singular in defending them. 
These are they whom ye term Ingenious ; 'tis a 
phrase of commendation I detest ; it implies an 
attempt to impose on my judgment, by flattering 
my imagination : yet these are they whose works 
are read by the old with delight, which the young 
are taught to look upon as the codes of knowledge 
and philosophy. 

" Indeed, the education of your youth is every 
way preposterous ; you waste at school years in im- 
proving talents, without having ever spent an hour 
in discovering them ; one promiscuous line of 
instruction is followed, without regard to genius, 
capacity, or probable situation in the common- 
wealth. From this bear-garden of the pedagogue, 
a raw unprincipled boy is turned loose upon the 
world to travel ; without any ideas but those of 
improving his dress at Paris, or starting into taste 
by gazing on some paintings at Rome. Ask him 
of the manners of the people, and he will tell you, 
That the skirt is worn much shorter in France, and 
that everybody eats macaroni in Italy. When he 
returns home, he buys a seat in Parliament, and 
studies the constitution at Arthur's. 

" Nor are your females trained to any more use- 
ful purpose : they are taught, by the very rewards 
which their nurses propose for good behaviour, by 

The Man of Feeling. 45 

the first thing like a jest which they hear from 
every male visitor of the family, that a young 
woman is a creature to be married; and when 
they are grown somewhat older, are instructed, 
that it is the purpose of marriage to have the enjoy- 
ment of pin-money, and the expectation of a 

* " These indeed are the effects of luxury, which 
is perhaps inseparable from a certain degree of 
power and grandeur in a nation. But it is not 
simply of the progress of luxury that we have to 
complain : did its votaries keep in their own sphere 
of thoughtless dissipation, we might despise them 
without emotion ; but the frivolous pursuits of 
pleasure are mingled with the most important con- 
cerns of the state ; and public enterprise shall sleep 
till he who should guide its operation has decided 
his bets at Newmarket, or fulfilled his engagement 
with a favourite mistress in the country. We want 
some man of acknowledged eminence to point our 
counsels with that firmness which the counsels 
of a great people require. We have hundreds of 

* Though the Curate could not remember having shown 
this chapter to anybody, I strongly suspect that these political 
observations are the work of a later pen than the rest of this 
performance. There seems to have been, by some accident, 
a gap in the manuscript, from the words, " Expectation of a 
jointure," to these, " In short, man is an animal," where the 
present blank ends,; and some other person (for the hand is 
different, and the ink whiter) has filled part of it with senti- 
ments of his own. Whoever he was, he seems to have caught 
some portion of the spirit of the man he personates. 

46 The Man of Feeling. 

ministers, who press forward into office, without 
having ever learned that art which is necessary for 
every business, the art of thinking ; and mistake 
the petulance, which could give inspiration to 
smart sarcasms on an obnoxious measure in a 
popular assembly, for the ability which is to 
balance the interest of kingdoms, and investigate 
the latent sources of national superiority. With 
the administration of such men the people can 
never be satisfied ; for besides that their confidence 
is gained only by the view of superior talents, there 
needs that depth of knowledge, which is not only 
acquainted with the just extent of power, but can 
also trace its connection with the expedient, to 
preserve its possessors from the contempt which 
attends irresolution, or the resentment which 
follows temerity.'' 

[Here a considerable part is wanting.] 
* * " In short, man is an animal equally selfish 
and vain. Vanity, indeed, is but a modification of 
selfishness. From the latter, there are some who 
pretend to be free: they are generally such as 
declaim against the lust of wealth and power, 
because they have never been able to attain any 
high degree in either : they boast of generosity 
and feeling. They tell us (perhaps they tell us in 
rhyme) that the sensations of an honest heart, of 
a mind universally benevolent, make up the quiet 
bliss which they enjoy ; but they will not, by 

The Man of Feeling. 47 

this, be exempted from the charge of selfishness. 
Whence the luxurious happiness they describe in 
their little family-circles ? Whence the pleasure 
which they feel, when they trim their evening 
fires, and listen to the howl of winter's wind ? 
Whence, but from the secret reflection of what 
houseless wretches feel from it? Or do you 
administer comfort in affliction — the motive is at 
hand ; I have had it preached to me in nineteen 
out of twenty of your consolatory discourses — the 
comparative littleness of our own misfortunes. 

"With vanity your best virtues are grossly 
tainted : your benevolence, which ye deduce 
immediately from the natural impulse of the heart, 
squints to it for its reward. There are some, 
indeed, who tell us of the satisfaction which flows 
from a secret consciousness of good actions : 
this secret satisfaction is truly excellent — when we 
have some friend to whom we may discover its 

He now paused a moment to relight his pipe, 
when a clock, that stood at his back, struck 
eleven ; he started up at the sound, took his hat 
and his cane, and nodding good night with his 
head, walked out of the room. The gentleman of 
the house called a servant to bring the stranger's 
surtout. " What sort of a night is it fellow ? " 
said he. "It rains. Sir, answered the servant, 
with an easterly wind." — " Easterly for ever ! " — 
He made no other reply; but shrugging up his 
shoulders till they almost touched his ears, 

48 The Man of Feeling. 

wrapped himself tight in his great coat, and 

" This is a strange creature," said his friend to 
Harley. "I cannot say, answered he, that his 
remarks are of the pleasant kind : it is curious to 
observe how the nature of truth may be changed 
by the garb it wears ; softened to the admonition 
of friendship, or soured into the severity of 
reproof: yet this severity may be useful to some 
tempers; it somewhat resembles a file; disagree- 
able in its operation, but hard metals may be the 
brighter for it." 



THE company at the baronet's removed 
to the playhouse accordingly, and Harley 
took his usual route into the Park. He 
observed, as he entered, a fresh-looking elderly 
gentleman in conversation with a beggar, who, 
leaning on his crutch, was recounting the hardships 
he had undergone, and explaining the wretchedness 
of his present condition. This was a very interest- 
ing dialogue to Harley ; he was rude enough there- 
fore to slacken his pace as he approached, and 
at last to make a full stop at the gentleman's back, 
who was just then expressing his compassion for 
the beggar, and regretting that he had not a 
farthing of change about him. At saying this he 
looked piteously on the fellow: there was some- 
thing in his physiognomy which caught Harley's 
notice : indeed physiognomy was one of Harley's 
foibles, for which he had: been often rebuked by 
his aunt in the country ; who used to tell him, that 
when he was come to her years and experience, he 
would know that all's not gold that gUsters : and it 
must be owned, that his aunt was a very sensible, 


50 The Man of Feeling. 

harsh-looking, maiden-lady of threescore and up- 
wards. But he was too apt to forget this caution ; 
and now, it seems, it had not occurred to him : 
stepping up, therefore, to the gentleman, who was 
lamenting the want of silver, "Your intentions. 
Sir, said he, are so good, that I cannot help lending 
you my assistance to carry them into execution," 
and gave the beggar a shilling. The other returned 
a suitable compliment, and extolled the benevolence 
of Harley. They kept walking together, and bene- 
volence grew the topic of discourse. 

The stranger was fluent on the subject. "There 
is no use of money, said he, equal to that of bene- 
ficence : with the profuse, it is lost ; and even with 
those who lay it out according to the prudence of 
the world, the objects acquired by it paU on the 
sense, and have scarce become our own till they 
lose their value with the power of pleasing; but 
here the enjoyment grows on reflection, and our 
money is most truly ours, when it ceases being in 
our possession." 

"Yet I agree in some measure, answered 
Harley, with those who think, that charity to 
our common beggars is often misplaced ; there 
are objects less obtrusive whose title is a better 

" We cannot easily distinguish, said the 

stranger ; and even of the worthless, are there 

not many whose impudence, or whose vice, 

may have been one dreadful consequence of 

. misfortune ? " 

The Man of Feeling. 51 

Harley looked again in his face, and blessed 
himself for his skill in physiognomy. 

By this time they had reached the end of the 
walk, the old gentleman leaning on the rails to take 
breath, and in the meantime they were joined by a 
younger man, whose figure was much above the 
appearance of his dress, which was poor and shabby : 
Harley's former companion addressed him as an 
acquaintance, and they turned on the walk 

The elder of the strangers complained of the 
closeness of the evening, and asked the other, if he 
would go with him into a house hard by, and take 
one draught of excellent cyder. " The man who 
keeps this house, said he to Harley, was once a 
servant of mine : I could not think of turning loose 
upon the world a faithful old fellow, for no other 
reason but that his age had incapacitated him ; so 
I gave him an annuity of ten pounds, with the help 
of which he has set up this little place here, and 
his daughter goes and sells milk in the city, while 
her father manages his taproom, as he calls it, at 
home. I can't well ask a gentleman of your 
appearance to accompany me to so paltry a place." 
— "Sir, replied Harley, interrupting him, I would 
much rather enter it than the most celebrated 
tavern in town ; to give to the necessitous, may 
sometimes be a weakness in the man ; to encourage 
industry, is a duty in the citizen." They entered 
the house accordingly. 

On a table at a corner of the room lay a pack of 

52 The Man of Feeling. 

cards, loosely, thrown together. The old gentle- 
man reproved the man of the house for encouraging 
so idle an amusement. Harley attempted to 
defend him, from the necessity of accommodating 
himself to the humour of his guests, and taking up 
the cards, began to shuffle them backwards and 
forwards in his hand. " Nay, I don't think cards 
so unpardonable an amusement as some do, replied 
the other ; and now and then, about this time of 
the evening, when my eyes begin to fail me for my 
book, I divert myself with a game at piquet, with- 
out finding my morals a bit relaxed by it." " Do 
you play piquet. Sir ? " (to Harley) Harley answered 
in the affirmative ; upon which the other proposed 
playing a pool at a shilling the game, doubling the 
stakes ; adding, that he never played higher with 
any body. 

Harley's good nature could not refuse the 
benevolent old man; and the younger stranger, 
though he at first pleaded prior engagements, yet 
being earnestly solicited by his friend, at last 
yielded to solicitatioa 

When they began to play, the old gentleman, 
somewhat to the surprise of Harley, produced ten 
shillings to serve for markers of his score; " He 
had no change for the beggar, said Harley to him- 
self; but I can easily account for it; it is curious 
to observe the affection that inanimate things will 
create in us by a long acquaintance : if I may 
judge from my own feelings, the old man would 

The Man of Feeling. 53 

not part with one of these counters for ten times 
its intrinsic value; it even got the better of his 
benevolence ! I myself have a pair of old brass 
sleeve-buttons'' — Here he was interrupted by 
being told, that the old gentleman had beat the 
younger, and that it was his turn to take up the 
conqueror. ^"Your game has been short," said 
Harley. "I repiqued him,'' answered the old 
man, with joy sparkling in his countenance. 
Harley wished to be repiqued too, but he was 
disappointed; for he had the same good fortune 
against his opponent Indeed, never did fortune, 
mutable as she is, delight in mutability so much 
as at that moment : the victory was so quick, and 
so constantly alternate, that the stake, in a short 
time, amounted to no less a sum than £,\2. 
Harley's proportion of which was within half a 
guinea of the money he had in his pocket. He 
had before proposed a division, but the old gentle- 
man opposed it with such a pleasant warmth in 
his manner, that it was always over-ruled. Now, 
however, he told them, that he had an appoint- 
ment with some gentlemen, and it was within a 
few minutes of his hour. The young stranger 
had gained one game, and was engaged in the 
second with the other ; they agreed therefore that 
the stake should be divided, if the old gentleman 
won that ; which was more than probable, as his 
score was 90 to 35, and he was elder hand; but a 
momentous repique decided it in favour of his 
adversary, who seemed to enjoy his victory 

54 The Man of Feeling. 

mingled with regret, for having won too much, 
while his friend, with great ebullience of passion, 
many praises of his own good play, and^many 
maledictions on the power of chance, took up the 
cards, and threw them into the fire. 



THE company he was engaged to meet were 
assembled in Fleet-street. He had walked 
some time along the Strand, amidst a 
crowd of those wretches who wait the uncertain 
wages of prostitution, with ideas of pity suitable to 
the scene around him, and the feelings he pos- 
sessed, and had got as far as Somerset-house, 
when one of them laid hold of his arm, and, with 
a voice tremulous and faint, asked him for a pint 
of wine, in a manner more supplicatory than is 
usual with those whom the infamy of their pro- 
fession has deprived of shame: he turned round 
at the demand, and looked stedfastly on the person 
who made it. 

She was above the common size, and elegantly 
formed ; her face was thin and hollow, and showed 
the remains of tarnished beauty. Her eyes were 
black, but had little of their lustre left : her cheeks 
had some paint laid on without art, and produc- 
tive of no advantage to her complexion, which 
exhibited a deadly paleness on the other parts of 
her face. 

56 The Man of Feeling. 

Harley stood in the attitude of hesitation ; which 
she interpreting to her advantage, repeated her 
request, and endeavoured to force a leer of invita- 
tion into her countenance. He took her arm, and 
they walked on to one of those obsequious taverns 
in the neighbourhood, where the dearness of the 
wine is a discharge in full for the character of the 
house. From what impulse he did this, we do 
not mean to enquire ; as it has ever been against 
our nature to search for motives where bad ones 
are to be found. — They entered, and a waiter 
shewed them a room, and placed a bottle of claret 
on the table. 

Harley iilled the lady's glass ; which she had no 
sooner tasted, than dropping it on the floor, and 
eagerly catching his arm, her eye grew fixed, her 
lip assumed a clayey whiteness, and she fell back 
lifeless in her chair. 

Harley started from his seat, and, catching her 
in his arms, supported her from falling to the 
ground, looking wildly at the door, as if he wanted 
to run for assistance, but durst not leave the miser- 
able creature. It was not till some minutes after, 
that it occurred to him to ring the bell, which at 
last however he thought of, and rung with repeated 
violence even after the waiter appeared. Luckily 
the waiter had his senses somewhat more about 
him; and snatching up a bottle of water, which 
stood on a buffet at the end of the room, he 
sprinkled it over the hands and face of the dying 

The Man of Feeling. 57 

figure before him. She began to revive, and with 
the assistance of some hartshorn drops, which 
Harley now for the first time drew from his pocket, 
was able to desire the waiter to bring her a crust 
of bread ; of which she swallowed some mouthfuls 
with the appearance of the keenest hunger. The 
waiter withdrew : when turning to Harley, sobbing 
at the same time, and shedding tears, " I am sorry, 
Sir, said she, that I should have given you so 
much trouble; but you will pity me when I tell 
you, that till now I have not tasted a morsel these 
two days past." — He fixed his eyes on her's — every 
circumstance but the last was forgotten; and he 
took her hand with as much respect as if she had 
been a dutchess. It was ever the privilege of mis- 
fortune to be revered by him. — " Two days ! — said 
he ; and I have fared sumptuously every day ! " — 
He was reaching to the bell ; she understood his 
meaning, and prevented him. " I beg. Sir, said 
she, that you would give yourself no more trouble 
about a wretch who does not wish to live j but, at 
present, I could not eat a bit ; my stomach even 
rose at the last mouthful of that crust. — He offered 
to call a chair, saying, that he hoped a little rest 
would relieve her. — He had one half-guinea left : 
" I am sorry, he said, that at present I should be 
able to make you an offer of no more than this 
paltry sum." — She burst into tears : " Your gener- 
osity, Sir, is abused ; to bestow it on me is to take 
it from the virtuous : I have no title but misery to 

58 The Man of Feeling. 

plead ; misery of my own procuring.'' " No more 
of that, answered Harley ; there is virtue in these 
tears ; let the fruit of them be virtue." — He rung, 
and ordered a chair. — " Though I am the vilest of 
beings, said she, I have not forgotten every virtue ; 
gratitude, I hope, I shall still have left, did I but 
know who is my benefactor." — " My name is 
Harley." — " Could I ever have an opportunity." — 
" You shall, and a glorious one too ! your future 
conduct — but I do not mean to reproach you — if, 
I say — it will be the noblest reward — I will do 
myself the pleasure of seeing you again." — Here 
the waiter entered, and told them the chair was at 
the door ; the lady informed Harley of her lodgings, 
and he promised to wait on her at ten next morn- 

He led her to the chair, and returned to clear 
with the waiter, without ever once reflecting that 
he had no money in his pocket He was ashamed 
to make an excuse ; yet an excuse must be made : 
he was beginning to frame one, when the waiter 
cut him short, by telling him, that he could not 
run scores ; but that, if he would leave his watch, 
or any other pledge, it would be as safe as if it 
lay in his pocket. Harley jumped at the proposal, 
and pulling out his watch delivered it into his 
hands immediately ; and having, for once, had the 
precaution to take a note of the lodging he in- 
tended to visit next morning, sallied forth with a 
blush of triumph on his face, without taking notice 

The Man of Feeling. 59 

of the sneer of the waiter, who, twirling the watch 
in his hand, made him a profound bow at the 
door, and whispered to a girl, who stood in the 
passage, something, in which the word cully was 
honoured with a particular emphasis. 



AFTER he had been some time with the 
company he had appointed to meet, and 
the last bottle was called for, he first 
recollected that he would be again at a loss how to 
discharge his share of the reckoning. He applied 
therefore to one of them, with whom he was most 
intimate, acknowledging that he had not a farthing 
of money about him; and, upon being jocularly 
asked the reason, acquainted them with the two 
adventures we have just now related. One of the 
company asked him, if the old man in Hyde-park 
did not wear a brownish coat, with a narrow gold 
edging, and his companion an old green frock, 
with a buff-coloured waistcoat. Upon Harley's 
recollecting that they did, "Then, said he, you 
may be thankful you have come off so well ; they 
are two as noted sharpers, in their way, as in any 
town, and but t'other night took me in for a much 
larger sum : I had some thoughts of applying to a 
justice, but one does not like to be seen in those 

Harley answered, " That he could not but fancy 

The Man of Feeling. 6i 

the gentleman was mistaken, as he never saw a 
face promise more honesty than that of the old 
man he had met with." — "His face!" said a 
grave-looking man, who sat opposite to him, 
squirting the juice of his tobacco obliquely into 
the grate. There was something very emphatical 
in the action : for it was followed by a burst of 
laughter round the table. " Gentlemen, said 
Harley, you are disposed to be merry ; it may be 
as you imagine, for I confess myself ignorant of 
the town : but there is one thing which makes me 
bear the loss of my money with temper : the young 
fellow who won it must have been miserably poor ; 
I observed him borrow money for the stake from 
his friend : he had distress and hunger in his 
countenance : be his character what it may, his 
necessities at least plead for him." — At this there 
was a louder laugh than before. "Gentlemen, 
said the lawyer, one of whose conversations with 
Harley we have already recorded, here's a very 
pretty fellow for you : to have heard him talk some 
nights ago, as I did, you might have sworn he 
was a saint ; yet now he games with sharpers, and 
loses his money; and is bubbled by a fine story 
invented by a whore, and pawns his watch; here 
are sanctified doings with a witness ? " 

" Young gentleman, said his friend on the other 
side of the table ; let me advise you to be a little 
more cautious for the future; and as for faces — 
you may look into them to know, whether a man's 
nose be a long or a short one." 



THE last night's raillery of his companions 
was recalled to his remembrance when 
he awoke, and the colder homilies of 
prudence began to suggest some things which were 
nowise favourable for a performance of his promise 
to the unfortunate female he had met with before. 
He rose uncertain of his purpose ; but the torpor 
of such considerations was seldom prevalent over 
the warmth of his nature. He walked some turns 
backwards and forwards in his room ; he recalled 
the languid form of the fainting wretch to his mind ; 
he wept at the recollection of her tears. " Though 
I am the vilest of beings, I have not forgotten 
every virtue ; gratitude, I hope, I shall still have 
left," — he took a larger stride — " Powers of mercy 
that surround me ! cried he, do ye not smile upon 
deeds like these? to calculate the chances of de- 
ception is too tedious a business for the life of 
man ! " — The clock struck ten ! — When he was got 
down stairs, he found that he had forgot the note 
of her lodgings ; he gnawed his lips at the delay : 
he was fairly on the pavement, when he recollected 

The Man of Feeling. 63 

having left his purse ; he did but just prevent him- 
self from articulating an imprecation. He rushed 
a second time up into his chamber. "What a 
wretch I am, said he; ere this time perhaps — " 
'Twas a perhaps not to be born ; — two vibrations 
of a pendulum would have served him to lock his 
bureau ; — but they could not be spared. 

When he reached the house, and inquired for 
Miss Atkins (for that was the lady's name), he was 
shown up three pair of stairs into a small room 
lighted by one narrow lattice, and patched round 
with shreds of different-coloured paper. In the 
darkest corner stood something like a bed, before 
which a tattered coverlet hung by way of curtain. 
He had not waited long when she appeared. Her 
face had the glister of new-washed tears on it. " I 
am ashamed. Sir, said she, that you should have 
taken this fresh piece of trouble about one so little 
worthy of it ; but, to the humane, I know there is 
a pleasure in goodness for its own sake : if you 
have patience for the recital of my story, it may 
palliate, though it cannot excuse my faults." Harley 
bowed, as a sign of assent; and she began as 
follows : 

" I am the daughter of an oflScer, whom a ser- 
vice of forty years had advanced no higher than the 
rank of captain. I have had hints from himself, 
and been informed by others, that it was in some 
measure owing to those principles of rigid honour, 
which it was his boast to possess, and which he 
early inculcated on me, that he had been able to 

64 The Man of Feeling. 

arrive at no better station. My mother died when 
I was a child ; old enough to grieve for her death, 
but incapable of remembering her precepts. Though 
my father was doatingly fond of her, yet there were 
some sentiments in which they materially differed : 
she had been bred from her infancy in the strictest 
principles of religion, and took the morality of her 
conduct from the motives which an adherence to 
those principles suggested. My father, who had 
been in the army from his youth, afSxed an idea 
of pusillanimity to that virtue, which was formed 
by the doctrines, excited by the rewards, or guarded 
by the terrors of revelation ; his darling idol was 
the honour of a soldier ; a term which he held in 
such reverence, that he used it for his most sacred 
asseveration. When my mother died, I was some 
time suffered to continue in those sentiments which 
her instructions had produced; but soon after, 
though, from respect to her memory, my father 
did not absolutely ridicule them, yet he showed, 
in his discourse to others, so little regard to them, 
and at times suggested to me motives of action so 
different, that I was soon weaned from opinions, 
which I began to consider as the dreams of super- 
stition, or the artful inventions of designing hypo- 
crisy. My mother's books were left behind at the 
different quarters we removed to, and my reading 
was principally confined to plays, novels, and those 
poetical descriptions of the beauty of virtue and 
honour, which the circulating libraries easily 

The Man of Feeling. 65 

"As I was generally reckoned handsome, and 
the quickness of my parts extolled by all our visitors, 
my father had a pride in showing me to the world. 
I was young, giddy, open to adulation, and vain of 
those talents which acquired it. 

" After the last war, my father was reduced to 
half-pay ; with which we retired to a village in the 
country, which the acquaintance of some genteel 
families who resided in it, and the cheapness of 
living, particularly recommended. My father rented 
a small house, with a piece of ground sufficient to 
keep a horse for him, and a cow for the benefit 
of his family. An old man servant managed his 
ground ; while a maid, who had formerly been my 
mother's, and had since been mine, undertook the 
care of our little dairy : they were assisted in each 
of their provinces by my father and me ; and we 
passed our time in a state of tranquillity, which he 
had always talked of with delight, and my train of 
reading had taught me to admire. 

" Though I had never seen the polite circles of 
the metropolis, the company my father had intro- 
duced me into had given me a degree of good- 
breeding, which soon discovered a superiority over 
the young ladies of our village. I was quoted as 
an example of politeness, and my company courted 
by most of the considerable families in the neigh- 

"Amongst the houses where I was frequently 
invited, was Sir George Winbrooke's. He had 
two daughters nearly of my age, with whom, 

66 The Man of Feeling. 

though they had been bred up in those maxims of 
vulgar doctrine, which my superior understanding 
could not but despise, yet as their good-nature led 
them to an imitation of my manners in every thing 
else, I cultivated a particular friendship. 

" Some months after our first acquaintance. Sir 
George's eldest son came home from his travels, 
His figure, his address, and conversation, were not 
unlike those warm ideas of an accomplished man 
which my favourite novels had taught me to form ; 
and his sentiments, on the article of religion, were 
as liberal as my own : when any of these happened 
to be the topic of our discourse, I, who before had 
been silent, from a fear of being single in opposi- 
tion, now kindled at the fire he raised, and de- 
fended our mutual opinions with all the eloquence 
I was mistress of. He would be respectfully atten- 
tive all the while ; and when I had ended, would 
raise his eyes from the ground, look at me with a 
gaze of admiration, and express his applause in the 
highest strain of encomium. This was an incense 
the more pleasing, as I seldom or never had met 
with it before ; for the young gentlemen who visited 
Sir George were for the most part of that athletic 
order, the pleasure of whose lives is derived from 
fox-hunting : these are seldom solicitous to please 
the women at all: or if they were, would never 
think of applying their flattery to the mind. 

" Mr Winbrooke observed the weakness of my 
soul, and took eveiy occasion of improving the 
esteem he had gained. He asked my opinion of 

The Man of Feeling. 6;/' 

every author, of every sentiment, with that submis- 
sive diffidence, which showed an unlimited confid- 
ence in my understanding. I saw myself revered, 
as a superior being, by one whose judgment my 
vanity told me was not likely to err : preferred by 
him to all the other visitors of my sex, whose for- 
tunes and rank should have entitled them to a 
much higher degree of notice : I saw their little 
jealousies at the distinguished attention he paid 
me ; it was gratitude, it was pride, it was love ! 
Love which had made too fatal a progress in my 
heart, before any declaration on his part should 
have warranted a return : but I interpreted every 
look of attention, every expression of compliment, 
to the passion I imagined him inspired with, and 
imputed to his sensibility that silence which was 
the effect of art and design. At length, however, 
he took an opportunity of declaring his love : he 
now expressed himself in such ardent terms, that 
prudence might have suspected their sincerity ; but 
prudence is rarely found in the situation I had 
been unguardedly led into ; besides, that the course 
of reading to which I had been accustomed, did 
not lead me to conclude, that his expressions could 
be too warm to be sincere: nor was I even 
alarmed at the manner in which he talked of 
marriage, a subjection, he often hinted, to which 
genuine love should scorn to be confined. The 
woman, he would often say, who had merit like 
mine to fix his affection, could easily command it 
for ever. » That honour too which I revered, was 

68 The Man of Feeling. 

often called in to enforce his sentiments. I did 
not, however, absolutely assent to them ; but I 
found my regard for their opposites diminish by 
degrees. If it is dangerous to be convinced, it is 
dangerous to listen; for our reason is so much 
of a machine, that it will not always be able to 
resist, when the ear is perpetually assailed. 

" In short, Mr Harley (for I tire you with a rela- 
tion, the catastrophe of which you will already have 
imagined), I fell a prey to his artifices. He had 
not been able so thoroughly to convert me, that 
my conscience was silent on the subject ; but he 
was so assiduous to give repeated proofs of un- 
abated affection, that I hushed its suggestions as 
they rose. The world, however, I knew, was not 
to be silenced ; and therefore I took occasion to 
express my uneasiness to my seducer, and entreat 
him, as he valued the peace of one to whom he 
professed such attachment, to remove it by a mar- 
riage. He made excuse from his dependence on 
the will of his father, but quieted my fears by the 
promise of endeavouring to win his assent. 

"My father had been some days absent on a 
*isit to a dying relation, from whom he had con- 
siderable expectations. I was left at home, with 
no other company than my books : my books I 
found were not now such companions as they used 
tp be ; I was restless, melancholy, unsatisfied with 
myself. But judge my situation when I received 
a billet from Mr Winbrooke informing me, that 
he had sounded Sir George on the subject we had 

The Man of Feeling. 69 

talked of, and found him so averse to any match 
so unequal to his own rank and fortune, that he 
was obliged, with whatever reluctance, to bid adieu 
to a place, the remembrance of which should ever 
be dear to him. 

" I read this letter a hundred times over. Alone, 
helpless, conscious of guilt, and abandoned by 
every better thought, my mind was one motley 
scene of terror, confusion, and remorse. A thou- 
sand expedients suggested themselves, and a thou- 
sand fears told me they would be vain : at last, in 
an agony of despair, I packed up a few clothes, 
took what money and trinkets were in the house, 
and set out for London, whither I understood he 
was gone, pretending to my maid, that I had 
received letters from my father requiring my 
immediate attendance. I had no other com- 
panion than a boy, a servant to the man from 
whom I hired my horses. I arrived in Lon- 
don within an hour of Mr Winbrooke, and 
accidentally alighted at the very inn where he 

" He started and turned pale when he saw me ; 
but recovered himself in time enough to make 
many new protestations of regard, and beg me to 
make myself easy under a disappointment which 
was equally afflicting to him. He procured me 
lodgings, where I slept, or rather endeavoured to 
sleep, for that night. Next morning I saw him 
again ; he then mildly observed on the imprudence 
of my precipitate flight from the country, and pro- 

70 The Man of Feeling. 

posed my removing to lodgings at another end of 
the town, to elude the search of my father, till he 
shoujd fall upon some method of excusing my 
conduct to him, and reconciling him to my return. 
We took a hackney-coach, and drove to the house 
he mentioned. 

" It was situated in a dirty lane, furnished with 
a taudry affectation of finery, with some old family- 
pictures hanging on walls which their own cobwebs 
would better have suited. I was struck with a 
secret dread at entering; nor was it lessened by 
the appearance of the landlady, who had that look 
of selfish shrewdness, which, of all others, is the 
most hateful to those whose feelings are untinc- 
tured with the world. A girl, who she told us was 
her niece, sat by her, playing on a guitar, while 
herself was at work, with the assistance of spec- 
tacles, and had a prayer-book, with the leaves 
folded down in several places, lying on the table 
before her. Perhaps, Sir, I tire you with my 
minuteness; but the place, and every circum- 
stance about it, is so impressed on my mind, that 
I shall never forget it. 

"I dined that day with Mr Winbrooke alone. 
He lost by degrees that restraint which I perceived 
too well to hang about him before, and, with his 
former gaiety and good-humour, repeated the flatter- 
ing things, which, though they had once been fatal, 
I durst not now distrust. At last, taking my hand 
and kissing it, 'It is thus, said he, that love will 
last, while freedom is preserved ; thus let us ever 

The Man of Feeling, 71 

be blest, without the galling thought that we are 
tied to a condition where we may cease to be so.' 
I answered, 'That the world thought otherwise; 
that it had certain ideas of good fame, which it was 
impossible not to wish to maintain.' ' The world, 
said he, is a tyrant ; they are slaves who obey it : 
let us be happy without the pale of the world. 
To-morrow I shall leave this quarter of it, for one, 
where the talkers of the world shall be foiled, and 
lose us. Could not my Emily accompany me? 
my friend, my companion, the mistress of my soul ! 
Nay, do not look so, Emily ! your father may 
grieve for a while, but your father shall be taken 
care of; this bank-bill I intend as the comfort for 
his daughter.' 

" I could contain myself no longer : ' Wretch, I 
exclaimed, dost thou imagine that my father's heart 
could brook dependence on the destroyer of his 
child, and tamely accept of a base equivalent for 
her honour and his own ! ' ' Honour, my Emily, 
said he, is the word of fools, or of those wiser 
men who cheat them. 'Tis a fantastic bauble that 
does not suit the gravity of your father's age ; but, 
whatever it is, I am afraid it can never be perfectly 
restored to you: exchange the word then, and 
let pleasure be your object now.' At these 
words he clasped me in his arms, and pressed his 
lips rudely to my bosom. I started from my seat. 
' Perfidious villain ! said I, who dar'st insult the 
weakness thou hast undone ; were that father here, 
thy cowafd soul would shrink from the vengeance 

72 The Man of Feeling. 

of his honour ! Curst be that wretch who has 
deprived him of it ! oh ! doubly curst, who has 
dragged on his hoary head the infamy which should 
have crushed her own ! ' I snatched a knife which 
lay beside me, and would have plunged it in my 
breast; but the monster prevented my purpose, 
and smiling with a grin of barbarous insult, 
' Madam, said he, I confess you are rather too 
much in heroics for me : I am sorry we should 
differ about trifles ; but as I seem somehow to have 
offended you, I would willingly remedy it by taking 
my leave. You have been put to some foolish 
expense in this journey on my account ; allow me 
to reimburse you.' So saying, he laid a bank-bill, 
of what amount I had no patience to see, upon the 
table. Shame, grief, and indignation, choaked my 
utterance ; unable to speak my wrongs, and unable 
to bear them in silence, I fell in a swoon at his 

" What happened in the interval I cannot tell ; 
but when I came to myself, I was in the arms of 
the landlady, with her niece chafing my temples, 
and doing all in her power for my recovery. She 
had much compassion in her countenance : the 
old woman assumed the softest look she was 
capable of, and both endeavoured to bring me 
comfort. They continued to show me many 
civilities, and even the aunt began to be less 
disagreeable in my sight. To the wretched, to 
the forlorn, as I was, small offices of kindness are 

The Man of Feeling. 73 

" Meantime my money was far spent, nor did 1 
attempt to conceal my wants from their knowledge. 
I had frequent thoughts of returning to my father ; 
but the dread of a life of scorn is insurmountable. 
I avoided therefore going abroad when I had a 
chance of being seen by any former acquaintance, 
nor indeed did my health for a great while permit 
it ; and suffered the old woman, at her own sugges- 
tion, to call me niece at home, where we now and 
then saw (when they could prevail on me to leave 
my room) one or two other elderly women, and 
sometimes a grave business-like man, who showed 
great compassion for my indisposition, and made 
me very obligingly an offer of a room at his country- 
house for the recovery of my health. This offer I 
did not chuse to accept; but told my landlady, 
' that I should be glad to be employed in any way 
of business which my skill in needlework could 
recommend me to ; confessing, at the same time, 
that I was afraid I should scarce be able to pay her 
what I already owed for board and lodging, and 
that for her other good offices, I had nothing but 
thanks to give her.' 

" ' My dear child, said she, do not talk of paying; 
since I lost my own sweet girl (here she wept), 
• your very picture she was. Miss Emily, I have 
nobody, except my niece, to whom I should leave 
any little thing I have been able to save : you shall 
live with me, my dear; and I have sometimes a 
little millinery work, in which, when you are 
inclined to it, you may assist us. By the way, 

74 The Man of Feeling. 

here are a pair of ruffles we have just finished for 
that gentleman you saw here at tea; a distant 
telation of mine, and a worthy man he is. 'Twas 
pity you refused the offer of an apartment at his 
country-house ; my niece, you know, was to have 
accompanied you, and you might have fancied 
yourself at home : a most sweet place it is, and but 
a short mile beyond Hampstead. Who knows, 
Miss Emily, what effect such a visit might have 
had ! if I had half your beauty, I should not waste 
it pining after e'er a worthless fellow of them all.' 
I felt my heart swell at her words ; I would have 
been angry if I could; but I was in that stupid 
state which is not easily awakened to anger : when 
I would have chid her, the reproof stuck in my 
throat ; I could only weep ! 

"Her want of respect increased, as I had not 
spirit to assert it ; my work was now rather imposed 
than offered, and I became a drudge for the bread 
I eat : but my dependance and servility grew in pro- 
portion, and I was now in a situation which could 
not make any extraordinary exertions to disengage 
itself from either ; I found myself with child. 

" At last the wretch, who had thus trained me to 
destruction, hinted the purpose for which those 
means had been used. I discovered her to be an 
artful procuress for the pleasures of those, who are 
men of decency to the world in the midst of 

" I roused every spark of courage within me at 
the horrid proposal She treated my passion at 

The Man of Feeling. 75 

first somewhat mildly; but when I continued to 
exert it, she resented it with insult, and told me 
plainly, That if I did not soon comply with her 
desires, I should pay her every farthing I owed, or 
rot in a jail for life. I trembled at the thought ; 
still, however, I resisted her importunities, and she 
put her threats in execution. I was conveyed to 
prison, weak from my condition, weaker from that 
struggle of grief and misery which for some time I 
had suffered. A miscarriage was the conse- 

"Amidst all the horrors of such a state, sur- 
rounded with wretches totally callous, lost alike to 
humanity and to shame, think, Mr Harley, think 
what I endured : nor wonder that I at last yielded 
to the solicitations of that miscreant I had seen at 
her house, and sunk to the prostitution which he 
tempted. But that was happiness compared to 
what I have suffered since. He soon abandoned 
me to the common use of the town, and I was cast 
among those miserable beings in whose society I 
have since remained. 

" Oh ! did the daughters of virtue know our 
sufferings; did they see our hearts torn with 
anguish amidst the affectation of gaiety which our 
faces are obliged to assume ! our bodies tortured 
by disease, our minds with that consciousness 
which they cannot lose ! Did they know, did they 
think of this, Mr Harley! — their censures are 
just; but their pity perhaps might spare the 
wretches whom their justice should condemn. 

^6 The Man of Feeling. 

" Last night, but for an exertion of benevolence 
which the infection of our infamy prevents even 
in the humane, had I been thrust out from this 
miserable place which misfortune has yet left me ; 
exposed to the brutal insults of drunkenness, or 
dragged by that justice which I could not bribe, 
to the punishment which may correct, but, alas ! 
can never amend the abandoned objects of its 
terrors. From that Mr Harley, your goodness has 
relieved me." 

He beckoned with his hand : he would have 
stopped the mention of his favours ; but he could 
not speak, had it been to beg a diadem. 

She saw his tears ; her fortitude began to fail at 
the sight, when the voice of some stranger on the 
stairs awakened her attention. She listened for a 
moment; then starting up, exclaimed, "Merciful 
God ! my father's voice ! " 

She had scarce uttered the word, when the door 
burst open, and a man entered in the garb of an 
officer. When he discovered his daughter and 
Harley, he started back a few paces; his look 
assumed a furious wildness ! he laid his hand on 
his sword. The two objects of his wrath did not 
utter a syllable. " Villain, he cried, thou seest a 
father who had once a daughter's honour to pre- 
serve ; blasted as it now is, behold him ready to 
avenge its loss ! " 

Harley had by this time some power of utter- 
ance. "Sir, said he, if you will be a moment 
calm." — " Infamous coward ! interrupted the other, 

'y„/,^,.,fj/-4'>t'J //fify^rr,/ ' 

The Man of Feeling. 77 

dost thou preach calmness to wrongs like mine ? " 
He drew his sword. " Sir, said Harley, let me tell 
you." — ^The blood ran quicker to his cheek — his 
pulse beat one — no more — and regained the tem- 
perament of humanity ! — " You are deceived, Sir, 
said he, you are much deceived ; but I forgive sus- 
picions which your misfortunes have justified : I 
would not wrong you, upon my soul I would not, 
for the dearest gratification of a thousand worlds ; 
my heart bleeds for you ! " 

His daughter was now prostrate at his feet. 
"Strike, said she, strike here a wretch, whose 
misery cannot end but with that death she 
deserves." Her hair had fallen on her shoulders \ 
her look had the horrid calmness of out-breathed 
despair ! Her father would have spoken ; his lip 
quivered, his cheek grew pale; his eyes lost the 
lightning of their fury! there was a reproach in 
them, but with a mingling of pity ! He turned 
them up to heaven — then on his daughter. — He 
laid his left hand on his heart — the sword dropped 
from his right — he burst into tears. 



HARLEY kneeled also at the side of the un- 
fortunate daughter : " Allow me, Sir, said 
he, to entreat your pardon for one whose 
offences have been already so signally punished. 
I know, I feel, that those tears, wrung from the heart 
of a father, are more dreadful to her than all the 
punishments your sword could have inflicted: 
accept the contrition of a child whom heaven has 
restored to you.'' " Is she not lost, answered he, 
irrecoverably lost ? Damnation ! a common prosti- 
tute to the meanest ruffian ! " — " Calmly, my dear 
Sir, said Harley, did you know by what compli- 
cated misfortunes she had fallen to that miserable 
state in which you now behold her, I should have 
no need of words to excite your compassion. 
Think, Sir, of what once she was ! Would you 
abandon her to the insults of an unfeeling world, 
deny her opportunity of penitence, and cut off the 
little comfort that still remains for your afflictions 
and her own ! " " Speak, said he, addressing him- 
self to his daughter; speak, I will hear thee." — 
The desperation that supported her was lost ; she 

The Man of Feeling. 79 

fell to the ground, and bathed his feet with her 

Harley undertook her cause: he related the 
treacheries to which she had fallen a sacrifice, and 
again sohcited the forgiveness of her father. He 
looked on her for some time in silence ; the pride 
of a soldier's honour checked for a while the 
yearnings of his heart ; but nature at last prevailed, 
he fell on her neck, and mingled his tears with 

"Harley,, who discovered from the dress of the 
stranger that he was just arrived from a journey, 
begged that they would both remove to his lodg- 
ings, till he could procure others for them. Atkins 
looked at him with some marks of surprise. His 
daughter now first recovered the power of speech : 
" Wretch as I am, said she, yet there is some 
gratitude due to the preserver of your child. See 
him now before you. To him I owe my life, or at 
least the comfort of imploring your forgiveness 
before I die." " Pardon me, young gentleman, 
said Atkins, I fear my passion wronged you." 

" Never, never. Sir, said Harley ; if it had, your 
reconciliation to your daughter were an atonement 
a thousand fold." He then repeated his request 
that he might be allowed to conduct them to his 
lodgings ; to which Mr Atkins at last consented. 
He took his daughter's arm, "Come, my Emily, 
said he, we can never, never recover that happiness 
we have lost ! but time may teach us to remember 
our misfortunes with patience." 

8o The Man of Feeling. 

When they arrived at the house where Harley 
lodged, he was informed, that the first floor was 
then vacant, and that the gentleman and his 
daughter might be accommodated there. While 
he was upon his enquiry, Miss Atkins informed 
her father more particularly what she owed to his 
benevolence. When he turned into the room 
where they were, Atkins ran and embraced him ; 
begged him again to forgive the offence he had 
given him, and made the warmest protestations 
of gratitude for his favours. We would attempt 
to describe the joy which Harley felt on this 
occasion, did it not occur to us, that one half of 
the world could not understand it though we did ; 
and the other half will, by this time, have under- 
stood it without any description at all. 

Miss Atkins now retired to her chamber, to take 
some rest from the violence of the emotions she 
had suffered. When she was gone, her father, 
addressing himself to Harley, said, "You have a 
right. Sir, to be informed of the present situation 
of one who owes so much to your compassion for 
his misfortunes. My daughter I find has informed 
you what that was at the fatal juncture when they 
began. Her distresses you have heard, you have 
pitied as they deserved ; with mine perhaps I can- 
not so easily make you acquainted. You have a 
feeling heart, Mr Harley; I bless it that it has 
saved my child ; but you never were a father, a 
father, torn by that most dreadful of calamities, 
the dishonour of a child he doated on ! You have 

The Man of Feeling. 8i 

been already informed of some of the circum- 
stances of her elopement. I was then from home, 
called by the death of a relation, who, though he 
would never advance me a shilling on the utmost 
exigency in his life-time, left me all the gleanings 
of his frugality at his death. I would not write 
this intelligence to my daughter, because I in- 
tended to be the bearer myself; and as soon as 
my business would allow me, I set out on my 
return, winged with all the haste of paternal affec- 
tion. I fondly built those schemes of future 
happiness, which present prosperity is ever busy 
to suggest : my Emily was concerned in them all. 
As I approached our little dweUing, my heart 
throbbed with the anticipation of joy and wel- 
come. I imagined the cheering fire, the blissful 
contentment of a frugal meal, made luxurious 
by a daughter's smile : I painted to myself her 
surprise at the tidings of our new-acquired riches, 
our fond disputes about the disposal of them. 

"The road was shortened by the dreams of 
happiness I enjoyed, and it began to be dark as I 
reached the house : I alighted from my horse, and 
walked softly up stairs to the room we commonly 
sat in. I was somewhat disappointed at not find- 
ing my daughter there. I rung the bell; her 
maid appeared, and shewed no small signs of 
wonder at the summons. She blessed herself as 
she entered the room: I smiled at her surprise. 
'Where is Miss Emily, Sir?' said she. 'Emily!' 
'Yes, Sir; she has been gone hence some days, 


82 The Man of Feeling. 

upon receipt of those letters you sent her.' 
' Letters ! ' said I. ' Yes, Sir ; so she told me, 
and went off in all haste that very night.' 

" I stood aghast as she spoke ; but was able so 
far to recollect myself, as to put on the affectation 
of calmness, and telling her there was certainly 
some mistake in the affair, desired her to leave 

" When she was gone, I threw myself into a 
chair in that state of uncertainty which is of all 
others the most dreadful. The gay visions with 
which I had delighted myself, vanished in an 
instant : I was tortured with tracing back the same 
circle of doubt and disappointment. My head 
grew dizzy as I thought : I called the servant 
again, and asked her a hundred questions to no 
purpose ; there was not room even for conjecture. 

" Something at last arose in my mind, which we 
call Hope, without knowing what it is. I wished 
myself deluded by it ; but it could not prevail over 
my returning fears. I rose and walked through 
the room. My Emily's spinnet stood at the end 
of it, open, with a book of music folded down 
at some of my favourite lessons. I touched the 
keys; there was a vibration in the sound that 
froze my blood : I looked around, and methought 
the family-pictures on the walls gazed on me with 
compassion in their faces. I sat down again with 
an attempt at more composure ; I started at every 
creaking of the door, and my ears rung with 
imaginary noises ! 

The Man of Feeling. 8 3 

" I had not remained long in this situation, isthen 
the arrival of a friend, wiio had accidentally heard 
of my return, put an end to my doubts, by the 
recital of my daughter's dishonour. He told me 
he had his information from a young gentleman, to 
whom Winbrooke had boasted of having seduced' 

" I started from my seat, with broken curses on 
my lips, and without knowing whither I should 
pursue them, ordered my servant to load my pistols, 
and saddle my horses. My friend, however, with- 
great difficulty, persuaded me to compose myself 
for that night, promising to accompany me on the 
morrow to Sir George Winbrooke' s in quest of his 

"The morrow came, after a night spent in a 
state litde distant from madness. We went as 
early as decency would allow to Sir George's ; he 
received me with politeness, and indeed com- 
passion ; protested his abhorrence of his son's 
conduct, and told me that he had . set out some 
days before for London, on which place he had 
procured a draught for a large sum, on pretence of 
finishing his travels; but that he had not heard 
from him since his departure. 

" I did not wait for any more, either of informa-j 
tion or comfort, but against the united remon- 
strances of Sir George and my friend, set out 
instantly for London, with a frantic uncertainty of 
purpose; but there all manner of search was in 
vain. I could trace neither of them any farther 

84 The Man of Feeling. 

than the inn where they first put up on their 
arrival ; and after some days fruitless inquiry, re- 
turned home destitute of every little hope that had 
hitherto supported me. The journeys I had made, 
the restless nights I had spent, above all, the per- 
turbation of my mind, had the effect which naturally 
might be expected ; a very dangerous fever was the 
consequence. From this, however, contrary to the 
expectation of my physicians, I recovered. It was 
now that I first felt something like calmness of 
mind; probably from being reduced to a state 
which could not produce the exertions of anguish 
or despair. A stupid melancholy settled on my 
soul ; I could endure to live with an apathy of life ; 
at times I forgot my resentment, and wept at the 
remembrance of my child. 

" Such has been the tenor of my days since that 
fatal moment when these misfortunes began, till 
yesterdays that I received a letter from a friend in 
town, acquainting me of her present situation. 
Could such tales as mine, Mr Harley, be sometimes 
suggested to the daughters of levity, did they but 
know with what anxiety the heart of a parent 
flutters round the child he loves, they would be 
less apt to construe into harshness that delicate 
concern for their conduct, which they often com- 
plain of as laying restraint upon things, to the 
young, the gay, and the thoughtless, seemingly 
harmless and indifferent. Alas ! I fondly imagined 
that I needed not even these common cautions ! 
my Emily was the joy of my age, and the pride of 

The Man of Feeling. 85 

my soul ! — Those things are now no more ! they 
are lost for ever ! Her death I could have borne ! 
but the death of her honour has added obloquy 
and shame to that sorrow which bends my grey 
hairs to the dust ! " 

As he spoke these last words, his voice trembled 
in his throat ; it was now lost in his tears ! He sat 
with his face half turned from Harley, as if he 
would have hid the sorrow which he felt. Harley 
was in the same attitude himself; he durst not 
meet his eye with a tear ; but gathering his stifled 
breath, " Let me intreat you. Sir, said he, to hope 
better things. The world is ever tyrannical ; it 
warps our sorrows to edge them with keener afflic- 
tion : let us not be slaves to the names it affixes to 
motive or to action. I know an ingenuous mind 
cannot help feeling when they sting : but there are 
considerations by which it may be overcome : its 
fantastic ideas vanish as they rise ; they teach us 
— to look beyond it." 




* * * 'T^^HE card he received was in the 
I pohtest style in which disappoint- 
ment could be communicated : 
the baronet " was under a necessity of giving up 
his application for Mr Harley, as he was informed, 
that the lease was engaged for a gentleman who 
had long served his majesty in another capacity, 
and whose merit had entided him to the first lucra- 
tive thing that should be vacant." Even Harley 
could not murmur at such a disposal. — " Perhaps, 
said he to himself, some war-worn officer, who, like 
poor Atkins, had been neglected from reasons 
which merited the highest advancement; whose 
honour could not stoop to solicit the preferment 
he deserved; perhaps, with a family, taught the 
principles of delicacy, without the means of sup- 
porting it ; a wife and children — gracious heaven ! 
whom my wishes would have deprived of bread."- — 
He was interrupted in his reverie by some one 
tapping him on the shoulder, and, on turning 
round, he discovered it to be the very man who 
had explained to him the condition of his gay 

The Man of Feeling. 87 

companion at Hydepark-corner. "I am glad to 
see you, Sir, said he ; I believe we are fellows in 
disappointment." Harley started, and said, that 
he was at a loss to understand him. " Poh ! you 
need not be so shy, answered the other ; every one 
for himself is but fair, and I had much rather you 
had got it than the rascally gauger." Harley still 
protested his ignorance of what he meant. " Why, 
the lease of Bancroft-mamor 3 had not you been 
applying for it?" "I confess I was,' replied 
Harley ; but I cannot conceive how you should be 
interested in the matter." — "Why, I was making 
interest for it myself, said he, and I think I had 
some title : I voted for this same baronet at the 
last election, and made some of my friends do so 
too ; though I would not have you imagine that I 
sold my vote; no, I scorn it, let me tell you, I 
scorn it; but I thought as how this man was 
staunch and true, and I find he's but a double- 
faced fellow after all, and speechifies in the house 
for any side he hopes to make most by. Oh ! how 
many fine speeches and squeezings by the hand we 
had of him on the canvas ! " And if ever I shall 
be so happy as to have an opportunity of serving 
you " — A murrain on the smooth-tongued knave ! 
and after all to get it for this pimp of a gauger. — 
" The gauger ! there must be some mistake, said 
Harley ! he writes me, that it was engaged for one 
whose long services " — " Services ! interrupted the 
other; you shall hear: Services! Yes, his sister 
arrived in town a few days ago, and is now semp- 

88 The Man of Feeling. 

stress to the baronet. A plague on all rogues ! 
says honest Sam Wrightson : I shall but just drink 
damnation to them to-night, in a crown's-worth of 
Ashley's, and leave London to-morrow by sun- 
rise " — " I shall leave it too," said Harley I and so 
he accordingly did. 

In passing through Piccadilly, he had observed 
on the window of an inn a notification of the de- 
parture of a stage-coach for a place in his road 
homewards ; in the way back to his lodgings, he 
took a seat in it for his return. 



THE company in the stage-coach consisted 
of a grocer and his wife, who were going 
to pay a visit to some of their country 
friends; a young officer, who took this way of 
marching to quarters; a middle-aged gentle- 
woman, who had been hired as housekeeper to 
some family in the country ; and an elderly well- 
looking man, with a remarkable old-fashioned 

Harley, upon entering, discovered but one 
vacant seat, next the grocer's wife, which, from 
his natural shyness of temper, he made no scruple 
to occupy, however aware that riding backwards 
always disagreed with him. 

Though his inclination to physiognomy had met 
with some -rubs in the metropolis, he had not yet 
lost his attachment to that science : he set him- 
self therefore to examine, as usual, the counte- 
nances of his companions. Here indeed he was 
not long in doubt as to the preference ; for besides 
that the elderly gentleman, who sat opposite to 


go The Man of Feeling. 

him, had features by nature more expressive of 
good dispositions, there was something in that 
periwig we mentioned, peculiarly attractive of 
Harley's regard. 

He had not been long employed in these specu- 
lations, when he found himself attacked with that 
faintish sickness, which was the natural conse- 
quence of his situation in the coach. The pale- 
ness of his countenance was first observed by the 
housekeeper, who immediately made offer of her 
smelling-bottle, which Harley however declined, 
telling at the same time the cause of his uneasi- 
ness. The gentleman on the opposite side of the 
coach now first turned his eye from the side-direc- 
tion in which it had been fixed, and begged Harley 
to exchange places with him, expressing his regret 
that he had not made the proposal before. Harley 
thanked him, and, upon being assured that both 
seats were alike to him, was about to accept of his 
offer, when the young gentleman of the sword, 
putting on an arch look, laid hold of the other's 
arm, "So, my old boy, said he, I find you have 
still some youthful blood about you, but, with 
your leave, I will do myself the honour of sitting 
by this lady ; " and took his place accordingly. 
The grocer stared him as full in the face as his 
own short neck would allow; and his wife, who 
was a little round faced woman, with a great deal 
of colour in her cheeks, drew up at the compli- 
ment that was paid her, looking first at the oflicer, 
and then at the housekeeper. 

The Man of Feeling. 91 

This incident was productive of some discourse ; 
for before, though there was sometimes a cough or 
a hem from the grocer, and the officer now and 
then humm'd a few notes of a song, there had not 
a single word passed the lips of any of the 

Mrs Grocer observed, how ill-convenient it was 
for people, who could not be drove backwards, to 
travel in a stage. This brought on a dissertation 
on stage coaches in general, and the pleasure of 
keeping a chay of one's own ; which led to an- 
other, on the great riches of Mr Deputy Bearskin, 
who, according to her, had once been of that in- 
dustrious order of youths who sweep the crossings 
of the streets for the conveniency of passengers, 
but, by various fortunate accidents, had now 
acquired an immense fortune, and kept his coach 
and a dozen livery-servants. All this afforded 
ample fund for conversation, if conversation it 
might be called, that was carried on solely by the 
before-mentioned lady, nobody offering to interrupt 
her, except that the officer sometimes signified his 
approbation by a variety of oaths, a sort of phrase- 
ology in which he seemed extremely versant. She 
appealed indeed frequently to her husband for the 
authenticity of certain facts, of which' the good 
man as often protested his total ignorance ; but as 
he was always called fool, or something very like 
it, for his pains, he at last contrived to support the 
credit of his wife without prejudice to his con- 
science, and signified his assent by a noise not 

92 The Man of Feeling. 

unlike the grunting of that animal which in shape 
and fatness he somewhat resembled. 

The housekeeper, and the old gentleman who 
sat next to Harley, were now observed to be fast 
asleep ; at which the lady, who had been at such 
pains to entertain them, muttered some words of 
displeasure, and, upon the officer's whispering to 
smoke the old put, both she and her husband 
purs'd up their mouths into a contemptuous smile. 
Harley looked sternly on the grocer: "You are 
come. Sir, said he, to those years when you might 
have learned some reverence for age: as for this 
young man, who has so lately escaped from the 
nursery, he may be allowed to divert himself." 
"Dam'-me, Sir, said the officer, do you call me 
young?" striking up the front of his hat, and 
stretching forward on his seat, till his face almost 
touched Harley's. It is probable, however, that he 
discovered something there which tended to pacify 
him ; for on the lady's entreating them not to 
quarrel, he very soon resumed his posture, and 
calmness together, and was rather less profuse of 
his oaths during the rest of the journey. 

It is possible the old gentleman had waked time 
enough to hear the last part of this discourse ; at 
least (whether from that cause, or that he too was a 
physiognomist) he wore a look remarkably com- 
placent to Harley, who, on his part, shewed a 
particular observance of him : indeed they had 
soon a better opportunity of making their acquaint- 
ance, as the coach arrived that night at the town 

The Man of Feeling. 93 

where the officer's regiment lay, and the places of 
destination of their other fellow-tt-avellers, it seems, 
were at no great distance; for next morning the 
old gentleman and Harley were the only passengers 

When they left the inn in the morning, Harley, 
pulling out a little pocket-book, began to examine 
the contents, and make some corrections with a 
pencil. " This, said he, turning to his companion, 
is an amusement with which I sometimes pass idle 
hours at an inn : these are quotations from those 
humble poets, who trust their fame to the brittle 
tenure of windows and drinking-glasses." " From 
our inns, returned the gentleman, a stranger might 
imagine that we were a nation of poets : machines 
at least containing poetry, which the motion of a 
journey emptied of their contents : is it from the 
vanity of being thought geniuses, or a mere mechan- 
ical imitation of the custom of others, that we are 
tempted to scrawl rhyme upon such places ? " 

" Whether vanity is the cause of our becoming 
rhimesters or not, answered Harley, it is a pretty 
certain effect of it. An old man of my acquaint- 
ance, who deals in apothegms, used to say. That he 
had known few men without envy, few wits without 
ill-nature, and no poet without vanity; and I 
believe his remark is a pretty just one : vanity has 
been immemorially the charter of poets. In this 
the ancients were mb«e honest than we are : the 
old poets frequently make boastful predictions of 
the immortality their works shall acquire them ; 

94 ^■^ Man of Feeling. 

ours, in their dedications and prefatory discourses, 
employ much eloquence to praise their patrons, 
and much seeming modesty to condemn them- 
selves, or at least to apologize for their productions 
to the world : but this, in my opinion, is the more 
assuming manner of the two ; for of all the garbs I 
ever saw Pride put on, that of her humility is to 
me the most disgusting." 

" It is natural enough for a poet to be vain, said 
the stranger : the little worlds which he raises, the 
inspiration which he claims, may easil)r be pro- 
ductive of self-importance ; though that inspiration 
is fabulous, it brings on egotism, which is always 
the parent of vanity." 

" It may be supposed, answered Harley, that 
inspiration of old was an article of religious faith ; 
in modern times it may be translated a propensity 
to compose ; and I believe it is not always most 
readily found where the poets have fixed its resid- 
ence, amidst groves and plains, and the scenes of 
pastoral retirement. The mind may be there 
unbent from the cares of the world; but it will 
frequently, at the same time, be unnerved from any 
great exertion : it will feel imperfect ideas which it 
cannot express, and wander without effort over the 
regions of reflection." 

" There is at least, said ,the stranger, one advan- 
tage in the poetical inclination, that it is an incentive 
to philanthropy. There is a certain poetic ground, 
on which a man cannot tread without feelings that 
enlarge the heart : the causes of human depravity 

The Man of Feeling. gj 

vanish before the romantic enthusiasm he professes, 
and many who are not able to reach the Parnassian 
heights, may yet approach so near as to be bettered 
by the air of the cHmate." 

" I have always thought so, replied Harley ; but 
this is an argument with the prudent against it : 
they urge the danger of unfitness for the world." 

" I allow it, returned the other ; but I believe it 
is not always rightfully imputed to the bent for 
poetry : that is only one effect of the common 
cause. — Jack, says his father, is indeed no scholar ; 
nor could all the drubbings from his master ever 
bring him one step forward in his accidence or 
syntax : but I intend him for a merchant. — Allow 
the same indulgence to Tom. — Tom reads Virgil 
and Horace when he should be casting accounts ; 
and but t'other day he pawned his great-coat for an 
edition of Shakespeare. — But Tom would have 
been as he is, though Virgil and Horace had never 
been born, though Shakespeare had died a link- 
boy ; for his nurse will tell you, that when he was 
a child, he broke his rattle, to discover what it was 
that sounded within it ; and burnt the sticks of his 
go-cart, because he liked to see the sparkling of 
timber in the fire. — 'Tis a sad casej but what 
is to be done?^-Why, Jack shall make a fortune, 
dine on venison, and drink claret. — Ay, but Tom — 
Tom shall dine with his brother, when his pride 
will let him; at other times, he shall bless God 
over a half-pint of ale and a Welsh-rabbit; and 
both shall go to heaven as they may. — That's a 

96 TJte Man of Feeling. 

poor prospect for Tom, says the father. — To go to 
heaven ! I cannot agree with him." 

" Perhaps, said Harley, we now-a-days discourage 
the romantic turn a Uttle too much. Our boys are 
prudent too soon. Mistake me not, I do not 
mean to blame them for want of levity or dissipa- 
tion ; but their pleasures are those of hackneyed 
vice, blunted to every iiner emotion by the repeti- 
tion of debauch ; and their desire of pleasure is 
warped to the desire of wealth, as the means of 
procuring it. The immense riches acquired by 
individuals have erected a standard of ambition, 
destructive of private morals, and of public virtue. 
The weaknesses of vice are left us ; but the most 
allowable of our failings we are taught to despise. 
Love, the passion most natural to the sensibility of 
youth, has lost the plaintive dignity he once pos- 
sessed, for the unmeaning simper of a dangling 
coxcomb ; and the only serious concern, that of a 
dowry, is settled, even amongst the beardless 
leaders of the dancing-school. The Frivolous and 
the Interested (might a satirist say) are the charac- 
teristical features of the age ; they are visible even 
in the essays of our philosophers. They laugh at 
the pedantry of our fathers, who complained of the 
times in which they lived ; they are at pains to 
persuade us how much those were deceived ; they 
pride themselves in defending things as they find 
them, and in exploding the barren sounds which 
had been reared into motives for action. To this 
their style is suited ; and the manly tone of reason 

The Man of Feeling. 97 

is exchanged for perpetual efforts at sneer and 
ridicule. This I hold to be an alarming crisis in 
the corruption of a state ; when not only is virtue 
declined, and vice prevailing, but when the praises 
of virtue are forgotten, and the infamy of vice 

They soon after arrived at the next inn upon the 
route of the stage-coach, when the stranger told 
Harley, that his brother's house, to which he was 
returning, lay at no great distance, and he must 
therefore unwillingly bid him adieu. 

" I should like, said Harley, taking his hand, to 
have some word to remember so much seeming 
worth by: my name is Harley." — "I shall re- 
member it, answered the old gentleman, in my 
prayers ; mine is Silton." 

And Silton indeed it was ! Ben Silton himself ! 
Once more, my honoured friend, farewell ! — Born 
to be happy without the world, to that peaceful 
happiness which the world has not to bestow ! 
Envy never scowled on thy hfe, nor hatred smiled 
on thy grave. 



WHEN the stage-coach arrived at the place 
of its destination, Harley began to con- 
sider how he should proceed the re- 
maining part of his journey. He was very civilly 
accosted by the master of the inn, who offered to 
accommodate him either with a post-chaise or 
horses, to any distance he had a mind : but as 
he did things frequently in a way different from 
what other people call natural, he refused these 
offers, and set out immediately a-foot, having first 
put a spare shirt in his pocket, and given directions 
for the forwarding of his portmanteau. This was 
a method of traveUing which he was accustomed 
to take ; it saved the trouble of provision for any 
animal but himself, and left him at liberty to chuse 
his quarters, either at an inn, or at the first cottage 
in which he saw a face he liked : nay, when he 
was not peculiarly attracted by the reasonable 
creation, he would sometimes consort with a 
species of inferior rank, and lay himself down to 
sleep by the side of a rock, or on the banks of a 
rivulet. He did few things without a motive, but 

The Man of Feeling. 99 

his motives were rather eccentric : and the useful 
and expedient were terms which he held to be 
very indefinite, and which therefore he did not 
always apply to the sense in which they are com- 
monly understood. 

The sun was now in his decline, and the evening 
remarkably serene, when he entered a hollow part 
of the road, which winded between the surround- 
ing banks, and seamed the sward in different lines, 
as the choice of travellers had directed them to 
tread it. It seemed to be little frequented now, 
for some of those had partly recovered their 
former verdure. The scene was such as induced 
Harley to stand and enjoy it ; when, turning round, 
his notice was attracted by an object, which the 
fixture of his eye on the spot he walked had before 
prevented him from observing. 

An old man, who from his dress seemed to have 
been a soldier, lay fast asleep on the ground; a 
knapsack rested on a stone at his right hand, 
while his staff and brass-hilted sword were Crossed 
at his left. 

Harley looked on him with the most earnest 
attention. He was one of those figures which 
Salvator would have drawn ; nor was the surround- 
ing scenery unlike the wildness of that painter's 
back-grounds. The banks on each side were 
covered with fantastic shrub-wood, and at a little 
distance, on the top of one of them, stood a 
finger-post, to mark the directions of two roads 
which diverged from the point where it was placed. 

100 The Man of Feeling. 

A rock, with some dangling wild flowers, jutted 
out above where the soldier lay; on which grew 
the stump of a large tree, white with age, and a 
single twisted branch shaded his face as he slept 
His face had the marks of manly comeliness im 
paired by time; his forehead was not altogether 
bald, but its hairs might have been numbered; 
while a few white locks behind crossed the brown 
of his neck with a contrast the most venerable to 
a mind like Harley's. " Thou art old, said he to 
himself, but age has not brought thee rest for its 
infirmities : I fear those silver hairs have not found 
shelter from thy country, though that neck has 
been bronzed in its service." The stranger waked. 
He looked at Harley with the appearance of some 
confusion : it was a pain the latter knew too well, 
to think of causing in another; he turned and 
went on. The old man readjusted his knapsack, 
and followed in one of the tracks on the opposite 
side of the road. 

When Harley heard the tread of his feet behind 
him, he could not help stealing back a glance at 
his fellow-traveller. He seemed to bend under the 
weight of his knapsack; he halted on his walk, 
and one of his arms was supported by a sling, and 
lay motionless across his breast. He had that 
steady look of sorrow, which indicates that its' 
owner has gazed upon his griefs till he has for- 
gotten to lament them; yet not without those 
streaks of complacency, which a good mind will 
sometimes throw into the countenance, through all 
the incumbent load of its depression. 

The Man of Feeling, loi 

He had now advanced nearer to Harley, and, 
with an uncertain sort of voice, begged to know 
what it was o'clock ; " I fear, said he, sleep has 
beguiled me of my time, and I shall hardly haTe 
light enough left to carry me to the end of my 
journey." "Father! said Harley, (who by this 
time found the romantic enthusiasm rising within 
him) how far do you mean to go ? " " But a little 
way, Sir, returned the other ; and indeed it is but 
a little way I can manage now : 'tis just four miles 
from the height to the village, thither I am going." 
" I am going there too, said Harley ; we may make 
the road shorter to each other. You seem to have 
served your country, Sir, to have served it hardly 
too ; 'tis a character I have the highest esteem for. 
— I would not be impertinently inquisitive; but 
there is that in your appearance which excites my 
curiosity to know something more of you : in the 
mean time, suffer me to carry that knapsack." 

The old man gazed on him ; a tear stood in his 
eye! "Young gentleman, said he, you are too 
good ; may heaven bless you for an old man's sake, 
who has nothing but his blessing to give I but my 
knapsack is so familiar to my shoulders, that I 
should walk the worse for wanting it ; and it would 
be troublesome to you, who have not been used to 
its weight." "Far from it, answered Harley, I 
should tread the lighter; it would be the most 
honourable badge I ever wore." 

"Sir, said the stranger, who had looked earnestly 
in Harley's face during the last part of his discourse, 

I02 The Man of Feeling. 

is not your name Harley?" "It is, replied he; I 
am ashamed to say 1 have forgotten yours." " You 
may well have forgotten my face, said the stranger, 
'tis a long time since you saw it ; but possibly you 

may remember something of old Edwards." 

" Edwards ! cried Harley, oh ! heavens ! and sprung 
to embrace him ; let me clasp those knees on which 

I have sat so often : Edwards ! 1 shall never 

forget that fire-side, round which I have been so 
happy ! But where, where have you been ? where 
is Jack? where is your daughter? How has it 
fared with them, when fortune, I fear, has been 
so unkind to you?" — "'Tis a long tale, replied 
Edwards ; but I will try to tell it you as we walk. 

"When you were at school in the neighbour- 
hood, you remember me at South-hill : that farm 
had been possessed by my father, grandfather, and 
great-grandfather, which last was a younger brother 
of that very man's ancestor, who is now lord of the 
manor. I thought I managed it, as they had done, 
with prudence ; I paid my rent regularly as it be- 
came due, and had always as much behind as gave 
bread to me and my children. But my last lease 
was out soon after you left that part of the country ; 
and the squire^ who had lately got a London- 
attorney for his steward, would not renew it, be- 
cause, he said, he did not chuse to have any farm 
under ;^3oo a-year value on his estate ; but offered 
to give me the preference on the same terms with 
another, if I chose to take the one he had marked 
out, of which mine was a part. 

The Man of Feeling. 103 

" What could I do, Mr Harley? I feared the 
undertaking was too great for me ; yet to leave, at 
my age, the house I had lived in from my cradle ! 
I could not, Mr Harley, I could not ; there was 
not a tree about it that I did not look on as my 
father, my brother, or my child : so I even ran the 
risk, and took the squire's offer of the whole. But 
I had soon reason to repent of my bargain ; the 
steward had taken care that my former farm should 
be the best land of the division : I was obliged to 
hire more servants, and I could not have my eye 
over them all ; some unfavourable seasons followed 
one another, and I found my affairs entangling on 
my hands. To add to my distress, a considerable 
corn-factor turned bankrupt with a sum of mine in 
his possession : I failed paying my rent so punctu- 
ally as I was wont to do, and the same steward had 
my stock taken in execution in a few days after. 
So, Mr Harley, there was an end of -my prosperity. 
However, there was as much produced from the 
sale of my effects as paid my debts and saved me 
from a jail : I thank God I wronged no man, and 
the world could never charge me with dishonesty. 

" Had you seen us, Mr Harley, when we were 
turned out of South-hill, I am sure you would have 
wept at the sight. You remember old Trusty, my 
shag house-dog ; I shall never forget it while I live ; 
the poor creature was blind with age, and could 
scarce crawl after us to the door ; he went however 
as far as the gooseberry-bush; that you may re- 
member stood on the left side of the yard ; he was 

I04 The Man of Feeling. 

wont to bask in the sun there ; when he had reached 
that spot, he stopped ; we went on : I called to him ; 
he wagged his tail, but did not stir : I called again; 
he lay down : I whistled, and cried Trusty ; he gave 
a short howl, and died ! I could have lain down 
and died too ; but God gave me strength to live 
for my children." 

The old man now paused a moment to take 
breath. He eyed Harle/s face ; it was bathed 
with tears : the story was grown familiar to himself; 
he dropped one tear, and no more. 

"Though I was poor, continued he, I was not 
altogether without credit. A gentleman in the 
neighbourhood, who had a small farm unoccupied 
at the time, offered to let me have it, on giving 
security for the rent ; which I made shift to pro- 
cure. It was a piece of ground which required 
nianagement to make any thing of; but it was 
nearly within the compass of my son's labour and 
my own. We exerted all our industry to bring it 
into some heart. We began to succeed tolerably, 
and lived contented on its produce, when an 
unlucky accident brought us under the displeasure 
pf a neighbouring justice of the peace, and broke 
all our family-happiness again. 

" My son was a remarkable good shooter ; he 
had always kept a pointer on our former farm, and 
thought no harm in doing so now ; when one day, 
having sprung a covey in our own ground, the dog, 
of his own accord, followed them into the justice's. 
My son laid down his gun, and went after his dog 

The Man of Feeling. 105 

to bring him back : the gamekeeper, who had 
marked the birds, came up, and seeing the pointer, 
shot him just as my son approached. The creature 
fell ; my son ran up to him : he died with a com- 
plaining sort of cry at his master's feet. Jack 
could bear it no longer; but flying at the game- 
keeper, wrenched his gun out of his hand, and 
with the butt end of it, felled him to the ground. 

" He had scarce got home, when a constable 
came with a warrant, and dragged him to prison ; 
there he lay, for the justices would not take bail, 
till he was tried at the quarter-sessions for the 
assault and battery. His fine was hard upon us to 
pay ; we contrived however to live the worse for it, 
and. make up the loss by our frugality : but the 
justice was not content with that punishment, and 
soon after had an opportunity of punishing us 

" An ofiScer with press-orders came down to our 
county, and having met with the justices, agreed 
that they should pitch on a certain number, who 
could most easily be spared from the county, of 
whom he would take care to clear it : my son's 
name was in the justices' list. 

" 'Twas on a Christmas eve, and the birth-day' 
too of my son's little boy. The night was piercing 
cold, and it blew a storm, with showers of hail and 
snow. We had made up a cheering fire in an inner 
room ; I sat before it in my wicker-chair, blessing 
providence, that had still left a shelter for me and 
my children. My son's two little ones were hold- 

io6 The Man of Feeling, 

ing their gambols around us ; my heart wanned at 
the sight : I brought a bottle of my best ale, and 
■all our misfortunes were forgotten. 

" It had long been our custom to play a game at 
Wind man's buff on that night, and it was not 
omitted now ; so to it we fell, I, and my son, and 
his wife, the daughter of a neighbouring farmer, 
who happened to be with us at the time, the two 
children, and an old maid servant, who had lived 
with me from a child. The lot fell on my son to 
be blindfolded : we had continued some time 
in our game, when he groped his way into an 
outer room in pursuit of some of us, who, he 
imagined, had taken shelter there ; we kept snug 
in our places, and enjoyed his mistake. He had 
not been long there, when he was suddenly seized 
from behind ; ' I shall have you now, said he, and 
turned about.' ' Shall you so, master ? answered 
the ruffian, who had laid hold of him; we shall 
make you play at another sort of game by and by.' 
— ^At these words Harley started with a convulsive 
sort of motion, and grasping Edwards's sword, 
drew it half out of the scabbard, with a look of the 
most frantic wildness. Edwards gently replaced it 
in its sheath, and went on with his relation. 

" On hearing these words in a strange voice, we 
all rushed out to discover the cause ; the room by 
this time was almost full of the gang. My daughter- 
in-law fainted at the sight j the maid and I ran to 
assist her, while my poor son remained motionless, 
gazing by turns on his children and their mother. 

The Man of Feeling, 107 

We soon recovered her to life, and begged her to 
retire and wait the issue of the affair ; but she flew 
to her husband, and clung round him in an agony 
of terror and grief. 

"In the gang was one of a smoother aspect, 
whom, by his dress, we discovered to be a serjeant 
of foot : he came up to me, and told me, that my 
son had his choice of the sea or land service, 
whispering at the same time, that if he chose the 
land, he might get off, on procuring him another 
man, and paying a certain sum for his freedom. 
The money we could just muster up in the house, 
by the assistance of the maid, who produced, in a 
green bag, all the little savings of her service ; but 
the man we could not expect to find. My daughter- 
in-law gazed upon her children with a look of the 
wildest despair : ' My poor infants ! said she, your 
father is forced from you ; who shall now labour 
for your bread ? or must your mother beg for her- 
self and you?' I prayed her to be patient; but 
comfort I had none to give her. At last, calling 
the serjeant aside, I asked him, ' If I was too old 
to be accepted in place of my son?' 'Why, I 
don't know, said he ; you are rather old to be sure, 
but yet the money may do much.' I put the 
money in his hand ; and coming back to my chil- 
dren, ' Jack, said I, you are free ; live to give your 
wife and these httle ones bread; I will go, my 
child, in your stead : I have but little life to lose, 
and if I staid, I should add one to the wretches 
jou left behind.' ' No, replied my son, I am not 

io8 The Man of Feeling. 

that coward you imagine me ; heaven forbid, that 
my father's grey hairs should be so exposed, while 
I sat idle at home; I am young, and able to 
endure much, and God will take care of you and 
my family.' 'Jack, said I, I will put an end to 
this matter ; you have never hitherto disobeyed 
me; I will not be contradicted in this; stay at 
home, I charge you, and, for my sake, be kind to 
my childreH.' 

" Our parting, Mr Harley, I cannot describe to 
you ; it was the first time we ever had parted : the 
very press-gang could scarce keep from tears ; but 
the Serjeant, who had seemed the softest before, 
was now the least moved of them all. He con- 
ducted me to a party of new-raised recruits, who 
lay at a village in the neighbourhood; and we 
soon after joined the regiment. I had not been 
long with it, when we were ordered to the East 
Indies, where I was soon made a serjeant, and 
might have picked up some money, if my heart 
had been as hard as some others were ; but my 
nature was never of that kind, that could think of 
getting rich at the expence of my conscience. 

"Amongst our prisoners was an old Indian, 
whom some of our officers supposed to have a 
treasure hidden somewhere; which is no uncom- 
mon practice in that country. They pressed him 
to discover it. He declared he had none; but 
that would not satisfy them : so they ordered him 
to be tied to a stake, and suffer fifty lashes every 
morning, till he should learn to speak out, as they 

The Man of Feeling. 109 

said. Oh ! Mr Harley, had you seen him, as I 
did, with his hands bound behind him, suffering in 
silence, while the big drops trickled down his 
shrivelled cheeks, and wet his grey beard, which 
some of the inhuman soldiers plucked in scorn ! 
I could not bear it, I could not for my soul ; and 
one morning, when the rest of the guard were out 
of the way, I found means to let him escape. I 
was tried by a court-martial for negligence of my 
post, and ordered, in compassion of my age, and 
having got this wound in my arm, and that in my 
leg, in the service, only to suffer 300 lashes, and 
be turned out of the regiment ; but my sentence 
was mitigated as to the lashes, and I had only 200. 
When I had suffered these, I was turned out of 
the camp, and had betwixt three and four hundred 
miles to travel before I could reach a sea-port, 
without guide to conduct me, or money to buy me 
provisions by the way. I set out, however, resolved 
to walk as far as I could, and then to lay myself 
down and die. But I had scarce gone a mile, 
when I was met by the Indian whom I had de- 
livered. He pressed me in his arms, and kissed 
the marks of the lashes on my back a thousand 
times ; he led me to a little hut, where some friend 
of his dwelt; and after I was recovered of my 
wounds, conducted me so far on my journey him- 
self, and sent another Indian to guide me through 
the rest. When we parted, he pulled out a purse 
with two hundred pieces of gold in it : ' Take this, 
said he, my dear preserver, it is all I have been 

1 10 The Man of Feeling. 

able to procure.' I begged him not to bring him- 
self to poverty for my sake, who should probably 
have no need of it long ; but he insisted on my 
accepting it. He embraced me: — 'You are an 
Englishman, said he, but the Great Spirit has given 
you an Indian heart ; may he bear up the weight 
of your old age, and blunt the arrow that brings it 
rest ! ' We parted ; and not long after I made 
shift to get my passage to England. 'Tis but 
about a week since I landed, and I am going to 
end my days in the arms of my son. This sum 
may be of use to him and his children ; 'tis all the 
value I put upon it. I thank heaven I never was 
covetous of wealth; I never had much, but was 
always so happy as to be content with my little." 

When Edwards had ended his relation, Harley 
stood a while looking at him in silence ; at last he 
pressed him in his arms, and when he had given 
vent to the fulness of his heart by a shower of 
tears, " Edwards, said he, let me hold thee to my 
bosom ; let me imprint the virtue of thy sufferings 
on my soul. Come, my honoured veteran ! let me 
endeavour to soften the last days of a life, worn out 
in the service of humanity : call me also thy son, 
and let me cherish thee as a father." Edwards, 
from whom the recollection of his own sufferings 
had scarce forced a tear, now blubbered like a boy; 
he could not speak his gratitude, but by some 
short exclamations of blessings upon Harley. 



WHEN they had arrived within a little way 
of the village they journeyed to, Harley 
stopped short, and looked steadfastly on 
the mouldering walls of a ruined house that stood 
on the road-side. " Oh heavens ! he cried, what 
do I see : silent, unroofed, and desolate ! Are all 
thy gay tenants gone? do I hear their hum no 
more ? Edwards, look there, look there ! the 
scene of my infant joys, my earliest friendships, 
laid waste and ruinous ! That was the very school 
where I was boarded when you were at South-hill ; 
'tis but a twelvemonth since I saw it standing, and 
its benches filled with cherubs : that opposite side 
of the road was the green on which they sported ; 
see it now ploughed up ! I would have given fifty 
titties its value to have saved it from the sacrilege 
of that plough." 

" Dear Sir, replied Edwards, perhaps they have 
left it from choice, and may have got another spot 
as good." " They cannot, said Harley, they can- 
not ; I shall never see the sward covered with its 

112 The Man of Feeling. 

daisies, nor pressed by the dance of the dear 
innocents : I shall never see that stump decked 
with the garlands which their little hands had 
gathered. These two long stones which now lie 
at the foot of it, were once the supports of a hut I 
myself assisted to rear : I have sat on the sods 
within it, when we had spread our banquet of 

apples before us, and been more blest Oh ! 

Edwards ! infinitely more blest than ever I shall be 

Just then a woman passed them on the road, and 
discovered some signs of wonder at the attitude of 
Harley, who stood, with his hands folded together, ' 
-looking with a moistened eye on the fallen pillars 
of the hut. He was too much entranced in thought 
to observe her at all ; but Edwards civilly accosting 
her, desired to know, if that had not been the 
-school-house, and how it came into the condition 
in which they now saw it? "Alack a day ! said 
she, it was the school-house indeed; but to be 
sure, Sir, the squire has pulled it down, because it 

stood in the way of his prospects." "What! 

how ! prospects ! pulled down ! " cried Harley. 
"Yes, to be sure. Sir; and the green where the 
children used to play he has ploughed up, because, 
he said, they hurt his fence on the other side of it." 

"Curses on his narrow heart, cried Harley, 

that could violate a right so sacred ! Heaven 
blast the wretch ! 

" And from his derogate body never spring 
A babe to honour him ! " 

The Man of Feeling 113 

But I need not, Edwards, I need not (recovering 
himself a little), he is cursed enough already : to 
him the noblest source of happiness is denied ; and 
the cares of his sordid soul shall gnaw it, while 
thou sittest over a brown crust, smiling on those 
mangled limbs that have saved thy son and his 
children ! " " If you want any thing with the 
school-mistress. Sir, said the woman, I can shew 
you the way to her house." He followed her with- 
out knowing whither he went. 

They stopped at the door of a snug habitation, 
where sat an elderly woman with a boy and a girl 
before her, each of whom held a supper of bread 
and milk in their hands. "There, Sir, is the 
school-mistress." — "Madam, said Harley, was not 
an old venerable man school-master here some 
time ago ? " — " Yes, Sir, he was ; poor man ! the 
loss of his former school-house, I believe, broke his 
heart, for he died soon after it was taken down ; 
and as another has not yet been found, I have 
that charge in the mean time." — "And this boy 
and girl, I presume, are your pupils ? " — " Ay, Sir, 
they are poor orphans, put under my care by the 
parish ; and more promising children I never saw." 
" Orphans ! " said Harley. " Yes, Sir, of honest 
creditable parents as any in the parish; and it is a 
shame for some folks to forget their relations, at a 
time when they have most need to remember 

them." " Madam, . said Harley, let us never 

forget that we are all relations." He kissed the 


1 14 The Man of Feeling. 

" Their father, Sir, continued she, was a farmer 

here in the neighbourhood, and a sober industrious 

man he wasj but nobody can help misfortunes; 

what with bad crops, and bad debts, which are 

worse, his affairs went to wreck, and both he and 

his wife died of broken hearts. And a sweet 

couple they were, Sir; there was not a properer 

man to look on in the county than John Exlwards, 

and so indeed were all the Edwardses." " What 

Edwardses ? " cried the old soldier hastily. " The 

Edwardses of South-hill ; and a worthy family they 

were." — "South-hill!" said he, in lajiguid voice, 

and fell back into the arms of the astonished 

Harley. The school-mistress ran for some water, 

and a smelling-bottle, with the assistance of which 

they soon recovered the unfortunate Edwards. He 

stared wildly for some time, then folding his orphan 

grandchildren in his arms, "Oh ! my children, my 

children ! he cried, have I found you thus ? My 

poor Jack ! art thou gone? I thought thou shouldst 

have carried thy father's grey hairs to the grave ! 

and these little ones"— his tears choaked his 

utterance, and he fell a^iu on the necks of the 


"My dear old man! said Harley, Providence 
has sent you to relieve them ; it will bless me, if I 
can be the means of assisting you." — " Yes, indeed, 
Sir, answered the boy \ father, when he was a-dying, 
bade God bless us ; and prayed, that if grandfather 
lived, he might send him to support us." — " Where 
did they lay my boy?" said Edwards.— "In the 

The Man of Feeling. 1 1 5 

Old Church-yard, rephed the woman, hard by his 
mother." — " I will show it you, answered the boy ; 
for I have wept over it many a time, when first I 
came amongst strange folks." He took the old 
man's hand, Harley laid hold of his sister's, and 
they walked in silence to the church-yard. 

There was an old stone, with the corner broken 
oiF, and some letters, half covered with moss, to 
denote the names of the dead : there was a 
cyphered R. E. plainer than the rest : it was the 
tomb they sought, "Here it is, grandfather," 
said the boy. Edwards gazed upon it without 
uttering a word: the girl, who had only sighed 
before, now wept outright: her brother sobbed, 
but he stifled his sobbing. " I have told sister, 
said he, that she should not take it so to heart ; she 
can knit already, and I shall soon be able to dig : 
we shall not starve, sister, indeed we shall not, nor 
shall grandfather neither." — The girl cried afresh ; 
Harley kissed off her tears as they flowed, and wept 
between every kiss. 



IT was with some difficulty that Harley pre- 
vailed on the old man to leave the spot 
where the remains of his son were laid. At 
last, with the assistance of the school-mistress, he 
prevailed; and she accommodated Edwards and 
him with beds in her house, there being nothing 
like an inn nearer than the distance of some miles. 

In the morning, Harley persuaded Edwards to 
come with the children to his house, which was 
distant but a short day's journey. The boy walked 
in his grandfather's hand ; and the name of Edwards 
procured him a neighbouring farmer's horse, on 
which a servant mounted, with the girl on a pillow 
before him. 

With this train Harley returned to the abode of 
his fathers : and we cannot but think, that his 
enjoyment was as great as if he had arrived from 
the tour of Europe, with a Swiss valet for his 
companion, and half a dozen snuff-boxes, with 
invisible hinges, in his pocket. But we take our 
ideas from sounds which folly has invented; 

The Man of Feeling. 117 

Fashion, Bon ton, and Vertii, are the names of 
certain idols, to which we sacrifice the genuine 
pleasures of the soul : in this world of semblance, 
we are contented with personating happiness; to 
feel it, is an art beyond us. 

It was otherwise with Harley ; he ran up stairs 
to his aunt, with the history of his fellow-travellers 
glowing on his lips. His aunt was an economist ; 
but she knew the pleasure of doing charitable 
things, and withal was fond of her nephew, and 
solicitous to oblige him. She received old 
Edwards therefore with a look of more com- 
placency than is perhaps natural to maiden ladies 
of threescore, and was remarkably attentive to his 
grandchildren : she roasted apples with her own 
hands for their supper, and made up a little bed 
beside her own for the girl. Edwards made some 
attempts towards an acknowledgment for these 
favours; but his young friend stopped them in 
their beginnings. "Whosoever receiveth any of 
these children " — said his aunt ; for her acquaint- 
ance with her bible was habitual. 

Early next morning, Harley stole into the room 
where Edwards lay : he expected to have found him 
a-bed ; but in this he was mistaken : the old man 
had risen, and was leaning over his sleeping grand- 
son, with the tears flowing down his cheeks. At 
first he did not perceive Harley ; when he did, he 
endeavoured to hide his grief, and crossing his 
eyes with his band, expressed his surprise at see- 
ing him so early astir. " I was thinking of you, 

1 18 The Man of Feeling. 

said Harley, and your children : I learned last 
night that a small farm of mine in the neighbour- 
hood is now vacant : if you will occupy it, I shall 
gain a good neighbour, and be able in some 
measure to repay the notice you took of me when 
a boy ; and as the furniture of the house is mine, 
it will be so much trouble saved." Edwards's 
tears gushed afresh, and Harley led him to see the 
place he intended for him. 

The house upon this farm was indeed little 
better than a hut; its situation, however, was 
pleasant, and Edwards, assisted by the beneficence 
of Harley, set about improving its neatness and 
convenience. He staked out a piece of the green 
before for a garden, and Peter, who acted in 
Harley's family as valet, butler, and gardener, had 
orders to furnish him with parcels of the different 
seeds he chose to sow in it. I have seen his 
master at work in this little spot, with his coat off, 
and his dibble in his hand : it was a scene of tran- 
quil virtue to have stopped an angel on his errands 
of mercy ! Harley had contrived to lead a little 
bubbling brook through a green walk in the middle 
of the ground, upon which he had erected a mill 
in miniature for the diversion of Edwards's infant 
grandson, and made shift in its construction to 
introduce a pliant bit of wood, that answered 
with its fairy clack to the murmuring of the rill 
that turned it. I have seen him stand, Hstening 
to these mingled sounds, with his eyes fixed on the 
boy, and the smile of conscious satisfaction on his 

The Man of Feeling, 1 19 

dheek ; while the old man, with a look half turned 
to Harley, and half to Heaven, breathed an ejacu- 
lation of gratitude and piety. 

Father of mercies ! I also would thank thee ! 
that not only hast thou assigned eternal rewards 
to virtue, but that, even in this bad world, the 
lines of our duty, and our happiness, are so fre- 
quently woven together. 



* * * * »YJ DWARDS, said he, I have a proper 
r~^ regard for the prosperity of my 
country: every native of it ap- 
propriates to himself some share of the power, 
or the fame, which, as a nation, it acquires ; but 
I cannot throw off the man so much, as to rejoice 
at our conquests in India. You tell me of 
immense territories subject to the EngUsh : I 
cannot think of their possessions, without being 
led to enquire, by what right they possess them. 
They came there as traders, bartering the com- 
modities they brought for others which their 
purchasers could spare; and however great their 
profits were, they were then equitable. But what 
title have the subjects of another kingdom to estab- 
lish an empire in India ? to give laws to a country 
where the inhabitants received them on the terms 
of friendly commerce ? You say they are happier 
under our regulations than the tyranny of their 
own petty princes. I must doubt it, from the con- 
duct of those by whom these regulations have been 

The Man of Feeling. 121 

made. They have drained the treasuries of Nabobs, 
who must fill them by oppressing the industry of 
their subjects. Nor is this to be wondered at, when 
we consider the motive upon which those gentle- 
men do not deny their going to India. The fame 
of conquest, barbarous as that motive is, is but a 
secondary consideration : there are certain stations 
in wealth to which the warriors of the East aspire. 
It is there indeed where the wishes of their friends 
assign them eminence, where the question of their 
country is pointed at their return. When shall I 
see a commander return from India in the pride 
of honourable poverty ? — You describe the victories 
they have gained ; they are sullied by the cause in 
which they fought : you enumerate the spoils of 
those victories ; they are covered with the blood 
of the vanquished ! 

" Could you tell me of some conqueror giving 
peace and happiness to the conquered? did he 
accept the gifts of their princes to use them for the 
comfort of those whose fathers, sons, or husbands, 
fell in battle ? did he use his power to gain security 
and freedom to the regions of oppression and 
slavery? did he endear the British name by ex- 
amples of generosity, which the most barbarous 
or most depraved are rarely able to resist ? did he 
return with the consciousness of duty discharged 
to his country, and humanity to his fellow-creatures? 
did he return with no lace on his coat, no slaves in 
his retinue, no chariot at his door, and no burgundy 
at his table? — these were laurels which princes 

122 The Man of Feeling. 

might envy — ^which an honest man would not 
condemn ! " 

" Your maxims, Mr Harley, are certainly right, 
said Edwards. I am not capable of arguing with 
you ; but I imagine there are great temptations in 
a great degree of riches, which it is no easy matter 
to resist : those a poor man like me cannot describe, 
because he never knew them ; and perhaps I have 
reason to bless God that I never did ; for then, it 
is likely, I should have withstood them no better 
than my neighbours. For you know. Sir, that it 
is not the fashion now, as it was in former times, 
that I have read of in books, when your great 
generals died so poor, that they did not leave 
wherewithal to buy them a coffin ; and people 
thought the better of their memories for it : if they 
did so now-a-days, I question if anybody, except 
yourself, and some few like you, would thank 

" I am sorry, replied Harley, that there is so 
much truth in what you say; but however the 
general current of opinion may point, the feelings 
are not yet lost that applaud benevolence, and cen- 
sure inhumanity. Let us endeavour to strengthen 
them in ourselves ; and we, who live sequestered 
from the noise of the multitude, have better oppor- 
tunities of listening undisturbed to their voice." 

They now approached the little dwelling of 
Edwards. A maid-servant, whom he had hired to 
assist him in the care of his grandchildren, nniet 
them a little way from the house: "There is a 

The Man of Feeling. 123 

young lady within with the children," said she. 
Edwards expressed his surprise at the visit : it was 
however not the less true ; and we mean to account 
for it. 

This young lady then was no other than Miss 
Walton. She had heard the old man's history 
from Harley, as we have already related it. Curi- 
osity, or some other motive, made her desirous to 
see his grandchildren ; this she had an opportunity 
of gratifying soon, the children, in some of their 
walks, having strolled as far as her father's avenue. 
She put several questions to both; she was de- 
lighted with the simplicity of their answers, and 
promised, that if they continued to be good chil- 
dren, and do as their grandfather bid them, she 
would soon see them again, and bring some present 
or other for their reward. This promise she had 
performed now : she came attended only by her 
maid, and brought with her a complete suit of 
green for the boy, and a chintz gown, a cap, and 
a suit of ribbands, for his sister. She had time 
enough, with her maid's assistance, to equip them 
in their new habiliments before Harley and Edwards 
returned. The boy heard his grandfather's voice, 
and, with that silent joy which his present finery 
inspired, ran to the door to meet him: putting 
one hand in his, with the other pointed to his 
sister, " See, said he, what Miss Walton has brought 
us !" — Edwards gazed on them. Harley fixed his 
eyes on Miss Walton ; hers were turned to the 
ground;^ — in Edwards's was a beamy moisture. — 

124 The Man of Feeling. 

He folded his hands toigether "I cannot 

speak, young lady, said he, to thank you." Neither 
could Harley. There were a thousand sentiments j 
but they gushed so impetuously on his heart, that 
he could not utter a syllable. * * * * 



THE desire of communicating knowledge or 
intelligence, is an argument with those 
who hold that man is naturally a social 
animal. It is indeed one of the earliest propen- 
sities we discover ; but it may be doubted whether 
the pleasure (for pleasure there certainly is) arising 
from it be not often more selfish than social : for 
we frequently observe the tidings of 111 communi- 
cated as eagerly as the annunciation of Good. Is 
it that we delight in observing the effects of the 
stronger passions? for we are all philosophers in 
this respect ; and it is perhaps amongst the spec- 
tators at Tyburn that the most genuine are to be 

Was it from this motive that Peter came one 
morning into his master's room with a meaning 
face of recital? His master indeed did not at 
first observe it ; for he was sitting, with one shoe 
buckled, delineating portraits in the fire. " I have 
brushed those clothes. Sir, as you ordered me." 
Harley nodded his head ; but Peter observed 

126 Tlu Man of Feeling. 

that his hat wanted brushing too : his master 
nodded again. At last Peter bethought hiiji, that 
the fire needed stirring ; and taking up the poKer, 
demolished the turban'd head of a Saracen, while 
his master was seeking out a body for it. " The 
morning is main cold, Sir," said Peter. "Is it?" 
said Harley. " Yes, Sir ; I have been as far as 
Tom Dowson's to fetch some barberries he had 
picked for Mrs Margery. There was a rare jun- 
ketting last night at Thomas's among Sir Harry 
Benson's servants ; he lay at Squire Walton's, but 
he would not suffer his servants to trouble the 
family : so, to be sure, they were all at Tom's, 
and had a fiddle and a hot supper in the big room 
where the justices meet about the destroying of^ 
hares and partridges, and them things ; and Tom's 
eyes looked so red and so bleared when I called 
him to get the barberries : — And I hear as how 
Sir Harry is going to be married to Miss Walton." 

" How ! Miss Walton married ! " said Harley. 

"Why, it mayn't be true, Sir, for all that; but 
Tom's wife told it me, and to be sure the servants 
told her, and their master told them, as I guess. 
Sir ; but it mayn't be true for all that, as I said 
before." — " Have done with your idle information, 
said Harley: — Is my aunt come down into the 
parlour to breakfast ?"—" Yes, Sir."— "Tell her 
I'll be with her immediately." 

When Peter was gone, he stood with his eyes 
fixed on the ground, and the last words of his 
intelligence vibrating in his ears. " Miss Walton 

The Man of Feeling. 127 

married!" he sighed — and walked down stairs, 
with his shoe as it was, and the buckle in his 
hand. His aunt, however, was pretty well accus- 
tomed to those appearances of absence; besides, 
that the natural gravity of her temper, which was 
commonly called into exertion by the care of her 
household concerns, was such, as not easily to be 
discomposed by any circumstance of accidental 
impropriety. She too had been informed of the 
intended match between Sir Harry Benson and 
Miss Walton. " I have been thinking, said she, 
that they are distant relations : for the great-grand- 
father of this Sir Harry Benson, who was knight 
of the shire in the reign of Charles the First, and 
one of the cavaliers of those times, was married 
to a daughter of the Walton family." Harley 
answered drily, that it might be so; but that he 
never troubled himself about those matters. " In- 
deed, said she, you are to blame, nephew, for not 
knov^ing a little more of them : before I was near 
your age, I had sewed the pedigree of our family 
in a set of chair-bottoms, that were made a present 
of to my grandmother, who was a very notable 
woman, and had a proper regard for gentility, I'll 
assure you ; but now-a-days, it is money, not birth, 
that makes people respected ; the more shame for 
the times." 

Harley was in no very good humour for enter- 
ing into a discussion of this question ; but he 
always entertained so much filial respect for his 
aunt, as to attend to her discourse. 

128 The Man of Feeling. 

" We blame the pride of the rich, said he, but 
are not we ashamed of our poverty ? " 

"Why, one would not chuse, replied his aunt, 
to make a much worse figure than one's neigh- 
bours ; but, as I was saying before, the times (as 
my friend Mrs Dorothy Walton observes) are 
shamefully degenerated in this respect. There 
was but t'other day, at Mr Walton's, that fat 
fellow's daughter, the London Merchant, as he 
calls himself, though I have heard that he was 
little better than the keeper of a chandler's shop : 
— We were leaving the gentlemen to go to tea. 
She had a hoop forsooth as large and as stiff— 
and it shewed a pair of bandy legs, as thick as two 

1 was nearer the door by an apron's length, 

and the pert hussy brushed by me, as who should 
say. Make way for your betters, and with one of 
her London-bobs — but Mrs Dorothy did not let 
her pass with it ; for all the time of drinking tea, 
she spoke of the precedency of family, and the 
disparity there is between people who are come of 
something, and your mushroom-gentry who wear 
their coats of arms in their purses." 

Her indignation was interrupted by the arrival 
of her maid with a damask table-cloth, and a set 
of napkins, from the loom, which had been spun 
by her mistress's own hand. There was the 
family-crest in each corner, and in the middle a 
view of the battle of Worcester, where one of her 
ancestors had been a captain in the king's forces ; 
and with a sort of poetical licence in perspective. 

The Man of Feeling. 129 

there was seen the^Royal Oak, with more wig than 
leaves upon it. 

On all this the good lady was very copious, and 
took up the remaining intervals of filling tea, to 
describe its excellencies to Harley; adding, that 
she intended this as a present for his wife, when he 
should get one. He sighed and looked foolish, 
and commending the serenity of the day, walked 
out into the garden. 

He sat down on a little seat which commanded 
an extensive prospect round the house. He leaned 
on his hand, and scored the ground with his stick : 
" Miss Walton married ! said he ; but what is that 
to me ? May she be happy ! her virtues deserve 
it ; to me her marriage is otherwise indifferent : — 
I had romantic dreams ! they are fled ! — it is 
perfectly indifferent." 

Just at that moment he saw a servant, with a 
knot of ribbands in his hat, go into the house. 
His cheeks grew flushed at the sight ! He kept 
his eye fixed for some time on the door by which 
he had entered, then starting to his feet, hastily 
followed him. 

When he approached the door of the kitchen 
where he supposed the man had entered, his heart 
throbbed so violently, that when he would have 
called Peter, his voice failed in the attempt. He 
stood a moment listening in this breathless state of 
palpitation: Peter came out by chance. "Did 
your honour want any thing ? " — " Where is the 
servant that came just now from Mr Walton's ? " 

130 The Man of Feeling. 

"From Mr Walton's, Sir! there is none of 

his servants here that I know of." — " Nor of Sir 
Harry Benson's?" — He did not wait for an 
answer ; but having -by this time observed the 
hat with its party-coloured ornament hanging on a 
peg near the door, he pressed forwards into the 
kitchen, and addressing himself to a stranger whom 
he saw there, asked him, with no small tremor in 
his voice, " If he had any commands for him ? " 
The man looked silly, and said, "That he had 
nothing to trouble his honour with." — "Are not 
you a servant of Sir Harry Benson's?" — "No, 
Sir." — " You'll pardon me, young man ; I judged 
by the favour in your hat." — "Sir, I'm his 
majesty's servant, God bless him ! and these 
favours we always wear when we are recruiting."— 
" Recruiting ! " his eyes glistened at the words : he 
seized the soldier's hand, and shaking it violently, 
ordered Peter to fetch a bottle of his aunt's best 
dram. The bottle was brought : " You shall 
drink the king's health, said Harley, in a bumper." 
— — "The king and your honour." — "Nay, you 
shall drink the king's health by itself; you may 
drink mine in another." Peter looked in his 
master's face, and filled with some little reluctance. 
" Now to your mistress, said Harley ; every soldier 
has a mistress." The man excused himself — " To 
your mistress ! you cannot refuse it." 'Twas Mrs 
Margery's best dram ! Peter stood with the bottle 
a little inclined, but not so as to discharge a drop 
of its contents : " Fill it, Peter, said his master. 

The Man of Feeling. 131 

fill it to the brim." Peter filled it ; and the soldier 
having named Suky Simpson, dispatched it in a 
twinkling. " Thou art an honest fellow, said 
Harley, and I love thee ; " and shaking his hand 
again, desired Peter to make him his guest at 
dinner, and walked up into his room with a pace 
much quicker and more springy than usual. 

This agreeable disappointment however he was 
not long suffered to enjoy. The curate happened 
that day to dine with him : his visits indeed were 
more properly to the aunt than the nephew; 
and many of the intelligent ladies in the parish, 
who, like some very great philosophers, have the 
happy knack at accounting for every thing, gave 
out, that there was a particular attachment between 
them, w^hich wanted only to be matured by some 
more years of courtship to end in the tenderest 
connection. In this conclusion- indeed, supposing 
the premises to have been true, they were some- 
what justified by the known opinion of the lady, 
who frequently declared herself a friend to the 
ceremonial of former times, when a lover might 
have sighed seven years at his mistress's feet, be- 
fore he was allowed the liberty of kissing her hand. 
'Tis true Mrs Margery was now about her grand 
climacteric ; no matter : that is just the age when 
we expect to grow younger. But I verily believe 
there was nothing in the report ; the curate's con- 
nection was only that of a genealogist; for in that 
character he was no way inferior to Mrs Margery 
herself. He dealt also in the present times; for 
he was a politician and a newsmonger. 

132 The Man of Feeling. 

He had hardly said grace after dinner, when he 
told Mrs Margery, that she might soon expect a 
pair of white gloves, as Sir Harry Benson, he was 
very well informed, was just going to be married to 
Miss Walton. Harley spilt the wine he was carry- 
ing to his mouth : he had time however to recollect 
himself before the curate had finished the different 
particulars of his intelligence, and summing up all 
the heroism he was master of, filled a bumper, and 
drank to Miss Walton. " With all my heart, said 
the curate, the bride that is to be." Harley would 
have said Bride too ; but the word Bride stuck in 
his throat. His confusion indeed was manifest: 
but the curate began to enter on some point of 
descent with Mrs Margery, and Harley had very 
soon after an opportunity of leaving them, while 
they were deeply engaged in a question, whether 
the name of some great man in the time of Henry 
the Seventh was Richard or Humphrey. 

He did not see his aunt again till supper ; the 
time between he spent in walking, like some 
troubled ghost, round the place where his treasure 
lay. He went as far as a little gate, that led into a 
copse near Mr Walton's house, to which that gentle- 
man had been so obliging as to let him have a 
key. He had just begun to open it, when he saw, 
on a terrace below. Miss Walton walking with a 
gentleman in a riding dress, whom he immediately 
guessed to be Sir Harry Benson. He stopped of a 
sudden; his hand shook so much that he could 
hardly turn the key ; he opened the gate, however, 

The Man of Feeling. 133 

and advanced a few paces. The lady's lap-dog 
pricked up its ears, and barked: he stopped 
again — 

-" the little dogs and all. 

Tray, Blanch, and Sweetheart, see they bark at me ! " 

His resolution failed ; he slunk back, and locking 
the gate as softly as he could, stood on tiptoe 
looking over the wall till they were gone. At that 
instant a shepherd blew his horn: the romantic 
melancholy of the sound quite overcame him ! — it 
was the very note that wanted to be touched — he 
sighed ! he dropped a tear ! — and returned. 

At supper his aunt observed that he was graver 
than usual; but she did not suspect the cause: 
indeed it may seem odd that she was the only 
person in the family who had no suspicion of his 
attachment to Miss Walton. It was frequently 
matter of discourse amongst the servants t- perhaps 
her maiden-coldness — but for those things we need 
not account. 

In a day or two he was so much master of him- 
self as to be able to rhime upon the subject. The 
following pastoral he left, some time after, on the 
handle of a tea-kettle, at a neighbouring house 
vhere we were visiting ; and as I filled the tea-pot 
after him, I happened to put it in my pocket by a 
similar act of forgetfulness. It is such as might be 
expected from a man who makes verses for amuse- 
ment. I am pleased with somewhat of good- 
nature that runs through it, because I have com- 

134 The Man of Feeling. 

monly observed the writers of those complaints to 
bestow epithets on their lost mistresses rather too 
harsh for the mere liberty of choice, which led 
them to prefer another to the poet himself : I do 
not doubt the vehemence of their passion; but, 
alas ! the sensations of love are something more 
than the returns of gratitudie. 

LAVINIA. A Pastoral. 

WHY steals from my bosom the sigh ? 
Why fix'd is my gaze on the ground ? 
Come, give me my pipe, and 111 try 
To banish my cares with the sound. 

Erewhile were its notes of accord 
With the smile of the flow'r-footed Muse ; 

Ah 1 why by its master implor'd 
Shou'd it now the gay carrol refuse ? 

Twas taught by Lavinia's sweet smile , 
In the mitth-loving chorus to join : 

Ah me I how unweeting the while ! 
Lavinia can never be mine ! 

Another, more happy, the maid 
By fortune is destin'd to bless - 

'Tho' the hope has forsook that betray'd. 
Yet why should I love her the less ? 

Her beauties are bright as the morn, 
With rapture I counted them o'er ; 

Such virtues.these beauties adorn, 
I knew her, and prais'd them no more. 

I term'd her no goddess of love, 

I cali'd not her beauty divine : 
These far other passions may prove. 

But they could not be figures of mine. 

The Man of Feeling. 1 3 5 

It ne'er was apparel'd with art, 

On words it could never rely ; 
It reign'd in the throb of my heart. 

It gleam'd in the glance of my eye^ 

Oh fool ! in the circle to shine 

That Fashion's gay daughters approve, 

You must speak as the fashions incline ; — 
Alas ! are there fashipns in love ? 

Yet sure they are simple who prize 
The tongue that is smooth to deceive ; 

Yet sure she had sense to despise 
The tinsel that Folly may weave. 

When I talk'd, I have seen her recline 
With an aspect so pensively sweet,^ — 

Tho' I spoke what the shepherds opine, 
A fop were asham'd to repeat. 

She is soft as the dew-drops that fall 
From the lip of the sweet-scented pea ; 

Perhaps when she smil'd upon all, 
I have thought that, she smil'd upon me. 

But why of her charms should I tell? 

Ah me ! whom her charms have undone 1 > 
Yet I love the reflection too well. 

The painfiil reflection to shun. 

Ye souls of more delicate Mnd, 

Who feast not on pleasure alone, 
Who wear the soft sense of the mind. 

To the sons of the world still unknown, 

Ye know, tho' I cannot express. 

Why I foolishly doat on my pain ; 
Nor will ye believe it the less 

That I have not the skill to complain. 

1 36 The Man of Feeling. 

I lean on my hand with a sigh, 
My friends the soft sadness condemn ; 

Yet, methinks, tho' I cannot tell why, 
I should hate to be merry like them. 

When I walk'd in the pride of the dawn, 
Methought all the region look'd bright : 

Has sweetness forsaken the lawn ? 

For, methinks, I grow sad at the sight. 

When I stood by the stream, I have thought 
There was mirth in the gurglii^ soft sound ; 

But now 'tis a sorrowful note. 
And the banks are all gloomy around ! 

t have laugh'd at the jest of a friend ; 

Now they laugh and I know not the cause, 
Tho' I seem with my looks to attend. 

How silly ! I ask what it was 1 

They sing the sweet song of the May, 
They sing it with mirth and with glee ; 

Sure I once thought the sonnet was gay. 
But now 'tis all sadness to me. 

Oh I give me the dubious light 
That gleams thro' the quivering shade ; 

Oh ! give me the horrors of night 
By gloom and by silence anay'd ! 

Let me walk where the soft-rising wave 
Has pictur'd the moon on its breast : 

Let me walk where the new-cover'd grave 
Allows the pale lover to rest ! 

When shall I in its peaceable womb 
Be laid with my sorrows asleep ! 

Should Lavinia but chance on my tomb — 
I could die if I thought she would weep. 

The Man of Feeling. 137 

Perhaps, if the souls of the just 

Revisit these mansions of care, 
It may be my fevourite trust 

To watch o'er the fate of the fair. 

Perhaps the soft thought of her breast 
With rapture more favour'd to warm ; 

Perhaps, if with sorrow oppress'd, 
Her sorrow with patience to arm. 

Then ! then ! in the tenderest part 
May I whisper, " Poor Colin was true ; ' 

And mark if a heave of her heart 
The thought of her Colin pursue. 

THE PUPIL, A Fragment. 

* * * * " r^ UT as to the higher part of educa- 
rS tion, Mr Harley, the culture 
of the mind; — let the feelings 
be awakened, let the heart be brought forth to its 
object, placed in the light in which nature would 
have it stand, and its decisions will ever be just. 
The world 

Will smile, and smile, and be a villain; and 
the youth, who does not suspect its deceit, will 
be content to smile with it. — Men will put on the 
most forbidding aspect in nature, and tell him of 
the beauty of virtue. 

"I have not, under these grey hairs, forgotten 
that I was once a young man, warm in the pursuit 
of pleasure, but meaning to be honest as well as 
happy. I had ideas of virtue, of honour, of bene- 
volence, which I had never been at the pains to 
define ; but I felt my bosom heave at the thoughts 
of them, and I made the most delightful solilo- 
quies. It is impossible, said I, that there can 

be half so many rogues as are imagined. 

" I travelled, because it is the fashion for young 
men of my fortune to travel: I had a travelling 

The Man of Feeling. 139 

tutor, which js the fashion too ; but my tutor was a 
gentleman, which it is not always the fashion for 
tutors to be. His gentility indeed was all he had 
from his father, whose prodigality had not left him 
a shilling to support it. 

'"I have^a favour to ask of you, my dear Mount- 
ford, said my father; which I will not be refused : 
You have travelled as became a man ; neither 
France nor Italy have made anything of Mountford) 
which Mountford before he left England would 
have been ashamed of: my son Edward goes 
abroad, would you take him under your protec 
tion ? ' — He blushed — my father's face was scarlet— ► 
he pressed his hand to his bosom, as if he had 
said, — ^my heart does not mean to offend ■ you. 
Mountford sighed twice — *I am a proud fool, said 
he, and you will pardon it; — ^there! (he sighed 
again) I can hear of dependance, since it is d^ 
pendance on my Sedley.' — 'Dependance! an- 
swered my father; there can be no such word 
between us : what is there in ;^9OO0 a-year that 
should make me unworthy of Mountford's friend- 
ship?' — They embraced; and soon after I set out 
on my travels, with Mountford for my guardian. 

" We were at Milan, where my father happened 
to have an Italian friend, to whom he had been of 
some service in England. The count, for he was 
of quality, was solicitous to return the obligation, 
by a particular attention to his son : We lived in 
his palace, visited with his family, were caressed by 
his friends, and I began to be so well pleased with 

I40 The Man of Feeling. 

my entertainment, that I thought of England as of 
some foreign country. 

"The count had a son not much older than 
mysel£ At that age a friend is an easy acquisition : 
we were friends the first night of our acquaintance. 

" He introduced me into the company of a set of 
young gentlemen, whose fortunes gave them the 
command of pleasure, and whose inclinations 
incited them to the purchase. After having spent 
some joyous evenings in their society, it became a 
sort of habit which I could not miss without un- 
easiness ; and our meetings, which before were 
frequent, were now stated and Tegular. 

" Sometimes in the pauses of our mirth, gaming 
was introduced as an amusement : it was an art in 
which I was a novice: I received instruction, as 
other novices do, by |losing pretty largely to my 
teachers. Nor was this the only evil which Mount- 
ford foresaw would arise from the connection I had 
formed j but a lecture of sour injunctions was not 
his method of reclaiming. He sometimes asked 
me questions about the company; but they were 
such as the curiosity of any indifferent man might 
have prompted : I told him of their wit, their elo^ 
quence, their warmth of friendship, and their sensi- 
bility of heart : ' And their honour, said I, laying 
my hand on my breast, is unquestionable.' Mount- 
ford seemed to rejoice at my good fortune, and 
begged that I would introduce him to their acquaint- 
ance. At the next meeting I introduced him 

The Man of Feeling. 141 

'.' The conversation was as animated as usual ; 
they displayed all that sprightliness and good- 
humour which my praises had led Mountford to 
expect; subjects too of sentiment occurred, and 
their speeches, particularly those of our friend the 
son of Count Respino, glowed with the warmth 
of honour, and softened into the tenderness of 
feeling. Mountford was charmed with his com- 
panions; when we parted, he made the highest 
eulogiums upon them : ' When shall we see them 
again?' said he. I was deUghted with the de- 
mand, and promised to reconduct him on the 

" In going to their place of rendezvous, he took 
me a little out of the road, to see, as he told me, 
the performances of a young statuary. When we 
were near the house in which Mountford said he 
lived, a boy of about seven years old crossed us in 
the street. At sight of Mountford he stopped, and 
grasping his hand, 'My dearest Sir, said he, my 
father is likely to do well ; he will live to pray for 
you, and to bless you : yes, he will bless you, 
though you are an Englishman, and some other 
hard word that the monk talked of this morning 
which I have forgot, but it meant that you should 
not go to heaven ; but he shall go to heaven, said 
I, for he has saved my father : come and see him. 

Sir, that we may be happy.' 'My dear, I am 

engaged at present with this gentleman.' — 'But 
he shall come along with you ; he, is an English- 
man too, I fancy ; he shall come and learn how an 

142 Tlie Man of Feeling. 

Englishman may go to heaven.' — Mountford 
smiled, and we followed the boy together. 

"After crossing the next street, we arrived at 
the gate of a prison. I seemed surprised at the 
sight ; our little conductor observed it. ' Are you 
afraid, Sir ? said he ; I was afraid once too, but my 
father and mother are here, and I am never afraid 
when I am with them.' He took my hand, and 
led me through a dark passage that fronted the 
gate. When we came to a little door at the end, 
he tapped; a boy, still younger than himself, 
opened it to receive us. Mountford entered with 
a look in which was pictured the benign assurance 
of a superior being. I followed in silence and 

" On something like a bed, lay a man, with a 
face seemingly emaciated with sickness, and a look 
of patient dejection; a bundle of dirty shreds 
served him for a pillow ; but he had a better sup- 
port—the arm of a female who kneeled beside 
him, beautiful as an angel, but with a fading 
languor in her countenance, the still life of melan- 
choly, that seemed to borrow its shade from the 
object on which she gazed. There was a tear in 
her eye ! — the sick man kissed it off in its bud, 
smiling through the dimness of his own ! — when 
she saw Mountford, she crawled forward on the 
ground, and clasped his knees ; he raised her from 
the floor ; she threw her arms round his neck, and 
sobbed out a speech of thankfulness, eloquent 
beyond the power of language, 

The Man of Feeling. 143 

" ' Compose yourself, my love, said the man on 
the bed ; but he, whose goodness had caused that 
emotion, will pardon its effects.' — ' How is this, 
Mountford ? said I ; what do I see ? what must I 

do?' 'You see, replied the stranger, a wretch, 

sunk in poverty, starving in prison, stretched on a 
sick bed ! but that is little : — there are his wife and 
children, wanting the bread which he has not to 
give them ! Yet you cannot easily imagine the 
conscious serenity of his mind; in the gripe of 
affliction, his heart swells with the pride of virtue ! 
it can even look down with pity on the man whose 
cruelty has wrung it almost to bursting. You are, 
I fancy, a friend of Mr Mountford's ; come nearer 
and I'll tell you ; for, short as my story is, I can 
hardly command breath enough for a recital. The 
son of Count Respino (I started as if I had trod on 
a viper) has long had a criminal passion for my 
wife ; this her prudence had concealed from me ; 
but he had lately the boldness to declare it to my- 
self. He promised me affluence in exchange for 
honour ; and threatened misery, as its attendant, if 
I kept it. I . treated him with the contempt he 
deserved: the consequence was, that he hired a 
couple of bravoes (for I am persuaded they acted 
under his direction) who attempted to assassinate me 
in the street ; but I made such a defence as obliged 
them to fly, after having given me two or three 
stabs, none of which however were mortal. But 
his revenge was not thus to be disappointed: in 
the little dealings of my trade I had contracted 

144 The Man of Feeling. 

some debts, of which he had made himself master 
for my ruin ; I was confined here at his suit, when 
not yet recovered from the wounds I had received ; 
the dear woman, and these two boys, followed me, 
that we might starve together; but Providence 
interposed, and sent Mr Mountford to our sup- 
port : he has relieved my family from the gnawings 
of hunger, and rescued me from death, to which 
a fever, consequent on my wounds and increased 
by the want of every necessary, had almost reduced 

" ' Inhuman villain ! ' I exclaimed, lifting up my 
eyes to heaven. ' Inhuman indeed ! said the lovely 
woman who stood at my side : Alas ! Sir, what had 
we done to offend him ? what had these little ones 
done, that they should perish in the toils of his 

vengeance?' 'I reached a pen which stood 

in the ink-standish at the bed-side — 'May I ask 
what is the amount of the sum for which you are 
imprisoned ? '— ' I was able, he replied, to pay all 
but joo crowns.' — I wrote a draught on the banker 
with whom I had a credit from my father for 2500, 
and presenting it to the stranger's wife, ' You will 
receive. Madam, on presenting this note, a sum 
more than sufficient for your husband's discharge ; 
the remainder I leave for his industry to improve.' 
I would have left the room : each of them laid hold 
of one of my hands ; the children clung to my coat : 
—-Oh ! Mr Harley, methinks I feel their gentle 
violence at this moment j it beats here with delight 
inexpressible ! — ' Stay, Sir, said he, I do not mean 

The Man of Feeling. 145 

attempting to thank you ; (he took a pocket-book 
from under his pillow) let me but know what name 
I shall place here next to Mr Mountford?' — 
'Sedley' — he writ it down^'An Englishman 
too, I presume.' — ' He shall go to heaven notwith- 
standing,' said the boy who had been our guide. 
It began to be too much for mej I squeezed his 
hand that was clasped in mine ; his wife's I pressed 
to my lips, and burst from the place to give vent 
to the feelings that laboured within me. 

'"Oh! Mountford! '.said I, when he had over- 
taken me at the door. ' It is time, replied he, that 
we should think of our appointment ; young Res- 
pino and his friends are waiting us.' — ' Damn him, 
damn him ! said I ; let us leave Milan instantly ; 

but soft 1 will be , calm ; Mountford, your 

pencil.' I wrote on a slip of paper. 

" To Signer Respino, 

" When you receive this I am at a distance from 
Milan. Accept of my thanks for the, civilities I 
have received from you and your family. As to 
the friendship with which you were pleased to 
honour me, the prison, which I have just left, has 
exhibited a scene to cancel it for ever. You may 
possibly be merry with your companions at my 
weakness, as I suppose you *ill term it. I give 
you leave for derision ; you may affect a triumph ; 
I shall feel it. 

"Ed\vard Sedley. 

" ' You may send this if you will, said Mountford 
coolly; but still Respino is a man of honour ; the 


146 The Man of Feeling. 

world will continue to call him so ' — ' It is probable, 
I answered, they may ; I envy not the appellation. 
If this is the world's honour, if these men are the 
guides of its manners ' — ' Tut ! said Mountford, do 
you eat macaroni ? ' " 

[At this place had the greatest depredations of 
the curate begun. There were so very few con- 
nected passages of the subsequent chapters remain- 
ing, that even the partiality of an Editor could not 
offer them to the Public. I discovered, from some 
scattered sentences, that they were of much the 
same tenor with the preceding; recitals of little 
adventures, in which the dispositions of a man, 
sensible to judge, and still more warm to feel, had 
room to unfold themselves. Some instruction, and 
some example, I make no doubt they contained; 
but it is likely that many of those, whom chance 
has led to a perusal of what I have aheady pre- 
sented, may have read it with little pleasure, 
and will feel no disappointment from the want of 
those parts which I have been unable to procure : 
to such as may have expected the intricacies of a 
novel, a few incidents in a life undistinguished, 
except by some features of the heart, cannot have 
aflForded much entertainment. 

Harley's own story, from the mutilated passages 
I have mentioned, as well as from some inquiries 
I was at the trouble of making in the country, I 
found to- have been simple to excess. His mistress, 
I could perceive, was not married to Sir Harry 

The Man of Feeling. 147 

Benson : but it would seem, by one of the follow- 
ing chapters, which is still entire, that Harley had 
not profited on the occasion by making any declara- 
tion of his own passion, after those of the other had 
been unsuccessful. The state of his health, for 
some part of this period, appears to have been 
such as to forbid any thoughts of that kind : he 
had been seized with a very dangerous fever, caught 
by attending old Edwards in one of an infectious 
kind. From this he had recovered but imperfectly, 
and though he had no formed complaint, his health 
was manifestly on the decline. 

It appears that the sagacity of some friend had 
at length pointed out to his aunt a cause from 
which this might be supposed to proceed, to wit, 
his hopeless love for Miss Walton ; for, according 
to the conceptions of the world, the love of a man 
of Harle/s fortune for the heiress of _;^4ooo a 
year, is indeed desperate. Whether it was so in 
this case may be gathered from the next chapter, 
which, with the two subsequent, concluding the 
performance, have escaped those accidents that 
proved fatal to the rest.] 



HARLEY was one of those few friends whom 
the malevolence of fortune had yet left me : 
I could not therefore but be sensibly con- 
cerned for his present indisposition ; there seldom 
passed a day on which I did not make inquiry 
about him. 

The physician who attended him bad informed 
me the evening before, that he thought him con- 
siderably better than he had been for some time 
past. I called next morning to be confirmed in a 
piece of intelligence so welcome to me. 

When I entered his apartment, I found him 
sitting on. a couch, leaning on his hand, with his 
eye turned upwards in the attitude of thoughtful 
inspiration. His look had always an open be- 
nignity, which commanded esteem ; there was now 
something more — a gentle triumph in it. 

He rose, and met me with his usual kindness. 
When I gave him the good accounts I had had 
from his physician, " I am foolish enough, said he, 
to rely but little, in this instance, upon physic : my 

presentiment may be false ; but I think I feel my- 


The Man of Feeling. 149 

self approaching to my end, by steps so easy, that 
they woo me to approach it. 

" There is a certain dignity in retiring from hfe at 
a time, when the infirmities of age have not sapped 
our faculties. This world, my dear Charles, was a 
scene in which I never much delighted. I was not 
formed for the bustle of the busy, jior the dissipa- 
tion of the gay : a thousand things occurred, where 
I blushed for the impropriety of my conduct when 
I thought on the worid, though my reason told me 
I should have blushed to have done otherwise. — It 
was a scene of dissimulation, of restraint, of disap- 
pointment. I leave it to enter on that state, which 
I have learned to believe, is replete with the 
genuine happiness attendant upon virtue. I look 
back on the tenor of my life, with the conscious- 
ness of few great offences to account for. There 
are blemishes, I confess, which deform in some 
degree the picture. But I know the benignity of 
the Supreme Being, and rejoice at the thoughts of 
its exertion in my favour. My mind expands, at 
the thought I shall enter into the society of the 
blessed, wise as angels, with the simplicity of 
children." He had by this time clasped my hand, 
and found it wet by a tear which had just fallen 
upon it. — His eye began to moisten too— we sat 
for some time silent. — At last, with an attempt to a 
look of more composure, " There are some remem- 
brances (said Harley) which rise involuntarily on 
my heart, and make me almost wish to live. I 
have been blessed with a few friends, who redeem 

150 Tlie Man of Feeling. 

my opinion of mankind. I recollect, wit the 
tenderest emotion, the scenes of pleasure I have 
passed among them ; but we shall meet again, my 
friend, never to be separated. There are some 
feelings which perhaps are too tender to be suffered 
by the world. The world is in general selfish, 
interested, and unthinking, and throws the imputa- 
tion of romance or melancholy on every temper 
more susceptible than its own. I cannot think but 
in those regions which I contemplate, if there is 
anything of mortality left about us, that these 
feelings will subsist ;^-they are called, — ^perhaps 
they are— weaknesses here ; — but there may be 
some better modifications of them in heaven, which 
may deserve the name of virtues." He sighed as 
he spoke these last words. He had scarcely 
finished them, when the door opened, and his aunt 
appeared leading in Miss Walton. " My dear, says 
she, here is Miss Walton, who has been so kind as 
to come and enquire for you herself." I could 
observe a transient glow upon his face. He rose 
from his seat — " If to know Miss Walton's good- 
ness, said he, be a title to deserve it, I have some 
claim." She begged him to resume his seat, and 
placed herself on the sofa beside him. I took my 
leave. Mrs Margery accompanied me to the door. 
He was left with Miss Walton alone. She inquired 
anxiously about his health. " I believe, said he, from 
the accounts which my physicians unwillingly give 
me, that they have no great hopes of my recovery." 
— She started as he spoke ; but recollecting herself 

The Man of Feeling. 151 

immediately, endeavoured to flatter him into a 
belief that his apprehensions were groundless. " I 
know, said he, that it is usual with persons at my 
time of life to have these hopes, which your kind- 
ness suggests ; but I would not wish to be deceived. 
To meet death as becomes a man, is a privilege 
bestowed on few. — I- would endeavour to make it 
mine ; — nor do I think that I can ever be better 
prepared for it than now : — It is that chiefly which 
determines the fitness of its approach." " Those 
sentiments, answered Miss Walton, are just ; but 
your good sense, Mr Harley, will own, that life has 
its proper value. — As the province of virtue, life is 
ennobled ; as such, it is to be desired. — To virtue 
has the Supreme Director of all things assigned 
rewards enough even here to fix its attachment." 

The subject began to overpower her. — Harley 
lifted his eyes from the ground — " There are, said 
he, in a very low voice, there are attachments. 
Miss Walton " — His glance met her's — They both 
betrayed a confusion, and were both instantly 
withdrawn. — He paused some moments — "I am in 
such a state as calls for sincerity, let that also 
excuse it — It is perhaps the last time we shall 
ever meet. I feel something particularly solemn 
in the acknowledgment, yet my heart swells to 
make it, awed as it is by a sense of my pre- 
sumption, by a sense of your perfections" — He 

paused again " Let it not offend you to know 

their power over one so unworthy — It will, I be- 
lieve, soon cease to beat, even with that feeling 

1 5 2 The Man of Feeling. 

which it shall lose the latest. — To love Miss Walton 
could not be a crime ; — if to declare it is one — the 
expiation will be made." — Her tearS were now 
flowing without controul. — "Let me intreat you, 
said she, to have better hopes — Let not life be so 
indifferent to you ; if my wishes can put any value 
on it — I will not pretend to misunderstand you — 
I know your worth — I' have known it long — I 
have esteemed it — What would you have me say ! 
— I have loved it as it deserved." — He seiized her 
hand — a languid colour reddened his cheek — a 
smile brightened faintly in his eye. As he gazed 
on her, it grew dim, it fixed, it closed — He sighed, 
and fell back on his seat — Miss Walton screamed 
at the sight — His aunt and the servants rushed 
into the room — They found them lying motionless 
together.— His physician happened to call at that 
instant. Every art was tried to recover thfem — 
With Miss Walton they succeeded — But Harley 
was gone for ever ! 



I ENTERED the room where his body lay ; I 
approached it with reverence, not fear: I 
looked ; the recollection of the past crowded 
^ipon me. I saw that form which, but a little 
before, was animated with a soul which did honour 
to humanity, stretched without sense or feeling 
before me. 'Tis a connection we cannot easily 
forget : — I took his hand in mine ; I repeated his 
name involuntarily ; — I felt a pulse in every vein 
at the sound. I looked earnestly in his face ; his 
eye was closed, his lip pale and motionless. There 
is an enthusiasm in sorrow that forgets impossi- 
bility; I wondered that it was so. The sight 
drew a prayer from my heart : it was the voice of 
frailty and of man ! the confusion of my mind 
began to subside into thought; I had time to 

I turned, with the last farewell upon my lips, 
when I observed old Edwards standing behind 
me. I looked him full in the face ; but his eye 
was fixed on another object : he pressed between 
me and the bed, and stood gazing on the breath- 


1 54 The Man of Feeling. 

less remains of his benefactor. I spoke to him I 
know not what; but he took no notice of what 
I said, and remained in the same attitude as 
before. He stood some minutes in that posture, 
then turned and walked towards the door. He 
paused as he went ; — ^he returned a second time : 
I could observe his lips move as he looked : but 
the voice they would have uttered was lost. He 
attempted going again; and a third time he re- 
turned as before. — I saw him wipe his cheek; 
then covering his face with his hands, his breast 
heaving with the most convulsive throbs, he flung 
out of the room. 

J^ ^^^'/^/^'/y/j-fj^'-^ -^f-ft/i-f^' ^.€^ f/ yfrr.> 


HE had hinted that he should like to be 
buried in a certain spot near the grave 
of his mother. This is a weakness ; but 
it is universally incident to humanity : 'tis at least 
a memorial for those who survive ; for some indeed 
a slender memorial will serve ; and the soft affec- 
tions, when they are busy that way, will build 
their structures, were it but on the paring of a 

He was buried in the place he had desired. It 
was shaded by an old tree, the only one in the 
church-yard, in which was a cavity worn by time. 
I have sat with him in it, and counted the tombs. 
The last time we passed there, methought he 
looked wistfully on that tree : there was a branch 
of it, that bent towards us, waving in the wind ; 
he waved his hand, as if he mimicked its motion. 
There was something predictive in his look ! 
perhaps it is foolish to remark it ; but there 
are times and places when I am a child at those 

I sometimes visit his grave ; I sit in the hollow 
of the tree. It is worth a thousand homilies ; 

1 56 The Man of Feeling. 

&verj noble feeling rises within me ! every beat of 
my heart awakens a virtue ! — but it will make you 

hate the world No : there is such an air of 

gentleness around, that I can hate nothing; but, 
as to the world — I pity the men of it.